From Text to Image—Shaping a Visual Grounded Theory Methodology


  • Günter Mey University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal
  • Marc Dietrich Alpen-Adria Universität-Klagenfurt



grounded theory methodology (GTM), pictorial turn, image analysis, documentary method, objective hermeneutics, segment analysis, visual data


Qualitative social and cultural research is increasingly engaging with visual data. Starting from the premise "all is data" in grounded theory methodology (GTM), we propose a general framework to realize a visual grounded theory methodology (VGTM). Referring to exploratory visual methods based on objective hermeneutics, the documentary method, and segment analysis, as well as existing GTM discourses, we discuss how this text-centered procedure can be applied to visual data. We focus on the (re)formulation of procedural steps (such as making an inventory, segmentation and coding, memo writing, and sampling strategies), and the examination of images in relation to GTM logic.



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Author Biographies

Günter Mey, University of Applied Sciences Magdeburg-Stendal

Main research fields:
  • Qualitative methods and methodology
  • Research on adolescent identity
  • Developmental and environmental psychology
  • On-line publishing


Marc Dietrich, Alpen-Adria Universität-Klagenfurt

Marc DIETRICH is a research associate at the Alpen-Adria-University of Klagenfurt, Austria. Till February 2017, he worked as research associate in the BMBF project "Inszenierung von Jugend(lichkeit)." His areas of expertise are in the fields of pop culture and youth culture. His methodological interest stretches from grounded theory methodology to the (moving) image and discourse analysis.



How to Cite

Mey, G., & Dietrich, M. (2016). From Text to Image—Shaping a Visual Grounded Theory Methodology. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 17(2).



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