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Little Blue Book

WHAT IS EXPLORATION?

It was observed in the Introduction that adventuresome folk explore in art, space (air, land, water), science, and everyday life. Notwithstanding this vast domain where exploration sometimes or frequently occurs, its recognition as an important procedure and personal orientation is generally missing in the modern world. In the social sciences, including even qualitative research circles, the idea of exploration is usually mentioned, if at all, only in passing, a short statement by Blumer (1969, pp. 40–42) and Glaser and Strauss's (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory being two main exceptions. And still earlier, Boulding (1958) wrote about the need to “travel over a field of study” with the object of extending “the reader's field of acquaintance with the complex cases of the real world” (p. 5). Part of the reluctance to broach the subject of exploration, I believe, stems from a poor understanding of what it is. But the chief ...

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