Navigating Closed Doors: A Grounded Theory Study, Perdeda Billingslea Dwight
This study, conducted using classical grounded theory methodology (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Glaser, 1978; 1996; 1998; 2001), led to the discovery of the basic social process of Navigating Closed Doors. Initial participants were students who had dropped out of school and who at some point made a decision to return. Data were collected as well from individuals who, while they never dropped out, had to overcome tremendous obstacles to reach their goals. Data from literature, observations, informal conversations, and professional experiences, also contributed to the theory’s development.
Navigating Closed Doors has five stages: experiencing rejection, encountering the slippery slope, reaching a tipping point, facing up, and opening the closed door. The operation of the theory is readily observable in a number of school, job, and life situations. While Navigating Closed Doors furnishes guidance for counseling students to help them better understand their options and their choices, it may be useful as well for professionals who work with people who are in crisis or who are otherwise experiencing challenging conditions in their lives.
Key Words: grounded theory, navigating, closed doors, slippery slope, tipping point, facing up