For decades qualitative researchers have used grounded theory methodologies in their investigations. Although the grounded theory literature is extensive, less well documented are qualitative studies which incorporate complementary grounded theory approaches into their designs; or studies that validate the use of grounded theory strategies for applied research projects. This paper seeks to add to both margins of the grounded theory literature. First, it provides a detailed methodological account of how constructivist grounded theory and grounded theory situational analysis were used in a Ph.D. study exploring how ecologically concerned networks understand community resilience and respond to current and anticipated challenges of the Anthropocene, the idea that humans are now the primary influencers of global environmental changes. This account is based on a constructivist grounded theory analysis of nine interviews with Europeans active in the Transition Network at the community or regional level; and a grounded theory situational analysis of the network’s written discourse based on twenty-two English-language texts produced by prominent Transitioners, such as founders, headquarters staff, or national hub teams. Furthermore, while the wider Ph.D. study focused on theory building, analysis activities yielded practical insights into addressing real world problems, such as creating and sustaining collective action at the local level. Hence, the paper also discusses a framework that neighborhoods, towns, or other types of communities could adapt for their own collective purposes.


constructivist grounded theory, grounded theory situational analysis, community resilience, Anthropocene

Author Bio(s)

Deanne M. Boisvert (https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7073-7145) is a lecturer in Global Project and Change Management, Windesheim Honours College, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences in Zwolle, the Netherlands and a PhD candidate at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands. She is a laureate of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) doctoral grant for teachers. Please direct correspondence to d.boisvert@windesheim.nl.

Carolina Suransky (https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4435-966X) is associate professor in Humanistic Studies and Social Change at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands and Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Please direct correspondence to C.Suransky@UvH.nl.


Deanne Boisvert thanks the Dutch Research Council (NWO) which provided a PhD research fellowship to conduct this study; and Dr. Hans Alma, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, for her guidance during the PhD study and feedback on this article. She also thanks Dr. Liesbeth Rijsdijk, Dr. Sjiera de Vries, and Agnes Z. Camacho of Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, for feedback on earlier drafts of the article. In addition, she thanks Sara Borkent and Krisztina Dávid for their help transcribing the interviews.

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