By Dr. Saul McLeod , updated Case studies are in-depth investigations of a single person, group, event or community. Typically, data are gathered from a variety of sources and by using several different methods e.
Case Study Method
Case Study Method in Anthropology - [email protected] - The University of Manchester
A case study involves an up-close, in-depth, and detailed examination of a particular case or cases, within a real-world context. Generally, a case study can highlight nearly any individual, group, organization, event, belief system, or action. Case study research has been extensively practiced in both the social and natural sciences. As with other social science methods, no single research design dominates case study research.
How to do a case study
Anthropologists often describe a case first, and then extract a general rule or custom from it, in the manner of inductive reasoning. Most often, the event is complex, or even a series of events, and we call these social situations, which can be analysed to show that the different conflictive perspectives on them are enjoined in the same social system and not based in the assumption of cultural difference as a prima face condition of anthropological inquiry. In it we use the actions of individuals and groups within these situations to exhibit the morphology of a social structure, which is most often held together by conflict itself.
As a form of inquiry, ethnography relies heavily on participant observation —on the researcher participating in the setting or with the people being studied, at least in some marginal role, and seeking to document, in detail, patterns of social interaction and the perspectives of participants, and to understand these in their local contexts. It had its origin in social and cultural anthropology in the early twentieth century, but spread to other social science disciplines, notably sociology, during the course of that century. Ethnographers mainly use qualitative methods, though they may also employ quantitative data.