Grounded Theory. A Methodology Choice to Investigating Labia Minora Elongation Among Zambians in South Africa
Martínez Pérez G, Mubanga M, Tomás Aznar C, Bagnol B
A study on how Zambian migrants living in Cape Town perceive and experience the implications of labial elongation on women’s health was conducted. Labia minora elongation (LME) is a genital modification that some women in east and southern Africa practice. This tradition is not common in Western Cape province (southwestern part of South Africa). The aim of this article is to discuss the methodological choices made in the design and conduct of this study, in which a White European male interviewed the female study participants on the health implications of a practice that is considered a woman’s private issue. Constructivist grounded theory informed by a feminist perspective was chosen as the most suitable methodological approach to enable cogeneration of knowledge with the female participants. The methods and tools used by the lead investigator facilitated access to the participants’ emic views. Grounded theory methodology holds the potential to be an appropriate methodological approach for researchers who seek to erode the power imbalances influencing research processes that aim to explore the associated meanings and health implications of female genital modifications, such as LME, as narrated by the women who practice them.