Case Study Method: Key Issues, Key Texts by Roger Gomm, Martyn Hammersley, Peter Foster

By Roger Gomm, Martyn Hammersley, Peter Foster

This is often the main complete advisor to the present makes use of and significance of case examine equipment in social study. The editors compile key contributions from the sector which replicate diversified interpretations of the aim and means of case learn learn. The handle matters resembling: the matter of generalizing from learn of a small variety of circumstances; and the function of case learn in constructing and checking out theories. The editors provide in-depth checks of the most arguments. An annotated bibliography of the literature facing case research learn makes this an exhaustive and necessary advisor.

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6 In Julian Simon (1969), for example. 7 Barry MacDonald and Rob Walker have made the strongest case I know for using idiosyncratic instances to create understanding of more general matters, as in 'Case study and the social philosophy of educational research' (1975). 8 It would be of interest to get empirical data on the perceived utility of case studies. It can be presumed, I fear, that some respondents, having heard objections to the case study method from such authorities as Julian Stanley and Donald Campbell and think­ ing more of political value than informational value, would underrate their utility for understanding and generalization.

6, pp. 3 1 6-77. ] Tolstoy, L. ( 1 869) War and Peace. H. ( 1 97 1 ) Explanation and Understanding. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. CHAPTER 2 THE ONLY GENERALIZATION IS: THERE IS NO GENERALIZATION Yvonna S. Lincoln and Egon G. Guba The trouble with generalizations is that they don't apply to particulars. Generalization as the aim of science A frequently mentioned aim of science is prediction and control. But prediction and control cannot be accomplished without something on which to base predictions or formulate controlling actions.

Kemmis, S. ( 1 974) 'An ecological perspective on innovation' (mimeo). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois College of Education. MacDonald, B. and Walker, R. ( 1 975) 'Case study and the philosophy of educational research', Cambridge Journal of Education, 5 ( I ): 2-1 1 . Ortony, A. ( 1 975) 'Knowledge, language, and thinking' (mimeo). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois College of Education. Polanyi, M. ( 1 958) Personal Knowledge. New York: Harper & Row. Popper, K. ( 1 957) The Poverty of Historicism.

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