Written in an accessible and jargon-free style, this book provides a comprehensive, student-friendly guide to the nature and use of case study research. Whether as part of a more substantial study or as the foundation for a self-contained smaller project, case studies provide viable and valuable alternatives to conducting large-scale research. Grounded in both theory and practice, this book sets out not only the key debates and ethical issues surrounding case study research, but also focuses specifically on the work of others and how you can understand, use, and write about secondary data as the basis for your own research project. With tips, examples, and extensive discussion of real-world case studies from a variety of social science and other disciplines, Tight illustrates the kinds of research to which case studies can be applied. Topics include:  • Types of case studies  • Advantages and disadvantages to using case studies  • The meaning and value of case study research  • The use of case studies in different disciplines and research designs Whether you want to know how to access and use the case studies of others or understand the methods behind conducting your own case study research, this book will take you through every step of the process!

The Value of Case Study


This chapter argues that it would be helpful to start thinking of case study research in a somewhat different way: as small-scale research with meaning. This involves two changes of perspective.

First, we need to accept that case study research – particularly single case studies – is in essence small-scale research. In accepting this we, of course, recognise the limitations, but also the potential strengths, that small-scale research possesses.

Second, we need to place much more emphasis on the meaningfulness of the case study research we undertake. In other words, we don’t simply undertake case study research because it is small-scale (though that may be a pragmatic factor); we do it because of its potential interest and/or usefulness. Small-scale research can ...

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