A question roaming around in my mind the past few weeks has been : ” Can the process of theory be unintentional? Technically according to Grounded Theory, the answer is yes. Grounded Theory as a Qualitative Research Method is one in which the theory is developed through the data collected. However what I am specifically trying to understand is the unconscious collection of data vis-à-vis poetic memoir.
The writing process of memoir in many ways mirrors the data collection in Grounded theory which occurs in a cyclical manner. Both seek to gain perceptions and understand experiences, but the aforementioned occurs at an unconscious level. Similarly both require the researcher to focuses on a process or actions occurring over time.
Another striking similarity between the methods in Grounded Theory and iMemoir writing process is coding. Once a Grounded Theory researcher as collected data, they must begin a series of coding procedures: taking memos, coding of themes which have been extracted, grouping of codes into concepts and then into categories. The writing process of memoir, specifically poetic memoir involves some levels of the same coding process. The writer constantly visits and revisits specific memories and events that may or may not be linear in an attempt to understand their own lived experience. Even though the extraction process is initially an afterthought, the writer makes a conscious effort to make sense, on an individual level, of what has been produced. Furthermore, both memoir and grounded theory allow the focus to shift according to data. What a memoir writers discovers about themselves often changes over the course of their writing. The emphasis on understanding rather than explaining further implies that poetic memoir can be considered a valid form of grounded theory. In many ways, it can be asserted that Memoir, specifically poetic memoir is in Unconscious method of grounded theory that creates a pathway to consciousness.
In the next coming weeks, I will read up on more poetic memoirs and the possibly coding and methodology that they entail.