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social loss

Grounded theory was developed in opposition to the hypothesis testing approach associated with the positivist paradigm. In GT theories are generated through the analysis of data via a systematic process of coding, categorising and sampling. One reason why I suspect grounded theory has a take up beyond those to whom it would naturally appeal is that the key texts are very well explained. This is an early paper on social loss in which Glaser and Strauss talk about social loss as a social phenomenon. As you read it you might want to consider:

What is the key difference between a sense of personal loss and social loss?

How is social loss calculated?

Where might the calculation of social loss differ more?

What do you think they mean by saying it become an entity apart form the patient?

Is it reasonable to talked of social loss as a social phenomenon?

What makes a social loss story continue?

What are the consequences of social loss for nurses?

What place is there for personal values in professional work?

The paper was clearly not designed to present all the data that underlay the observations but does this theorisation of social loss sound convincing to you?

Social investigators are often accused of saying the obvious, is this a charge that can be made against this paper and if so how might you counter it?

Could you tell this same story of social loss from other 'theoretical' perspective for example is there a Marxist story of social loss?

Glaser, B. and Strauss, A. (1964) The Social Loss of Dying Patients, The American Journal of Nursing, 64, 6, pp. 119-121.

I accessed it at