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Anselm L. Strauss (December 18, 1916 in New York City – September 5, 1996) was an American sociologist, who worked the field of medical sociology. He is well known as co-founder of grounded theory.


Strauss, whose grandparents were German immigrants in the United States, grew up in Mount Vernon, New York.His physician recommended that Strauss move to Arizona after high school because he suffered from breathing problems, but that was too far from New York. Strauss took up his studies at the University of Virginia in 1935 and got his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Chicago where Herbert Blumer taught him Symbolic interactionism.

From 1944 to 1947, Strauss worked as a professor at a small college in Wisconsin. He went on to Indiana University, where he met Alfred Lindesmith; in 1949, they published a very successful book (Social Psychology).

In 1952, Strauss returned to Chicago as assistant professor.

In 1960, he went to the School of Nursing at the University of California where he founded the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He headed the department until 1987 although even as a professor emeritus, he continued his research and teaching activities. Strauss published over 30 books.

Strauss died on September 5, 1996 of a heart condition he had learned to live with for several decades.

Works (selection)

Strauss is best known for his work on the methodology in qualitative research and in particular for the development of grounded theory, a general methodology he established together with Barney Glaser in the 1960s.

Grounded Theory

  • The Discovery of Grounded Theory (together with Barney Glaser, 1967)
  • Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists (1987)
  • Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques (together with Juliet Corbin, 1990)

Other Works

  • '‘Social Class and Modes of Communication’ found in The American Journal of Sociology. Vol.60, No.4, p329-338 (together with Schatzman, L.1955)


  • Legewie, Heiner & Schervier-Legewie, Barbara (September 2004). "Forschung ist harte Arbeit, es ist immer ein Stück Leiden damit verbunden. Deshalb muss es auf der anderen Seite Spaß machen". Anselm Strauss interviewed by Heiner Legewie and Barbara Schervier-Legewie. Forum: Qualitative Social Research On-line Journal, 5(3), Art. 22. Interview as MP3 audio (english) / edited German translation of interview. Accessed on May 20, 2005.

External links

de:Anselm L. Strauss fr:Anselm Strauss