<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Case study

Sometimes a researcher wants to study one specific person or event. A case study    is an in-depth analysis of a single event, situation, or individual. To conduct a case study, a researcher examines existing sources like documents and archival records, conducts interviews, engages in direct observation and even participant observation, if possible.

Researchers might use this method to study a single case of, for example, a foster child, drug lord, cancer patient, criminal, or rape victim. However, a major criticism of the case study as a method is that a developed study of a single case, while offering depth on a topic, does not provide enough evidence to form a generalized conclusion. In other words, it is difficult to make universal claims based on just one person, since one person does not verify a pattern. This is why most sociologists do not use case studies as a primary research method.

However, case studies are useful when the single case is unique. In these instances, a single case study can add tremendous knowledge to a certain discipline. For example, a feral child, also called “wild child,” is one who grows up isolated from human beings. Feral children grow up without social contact and language, which are elements crucial to a “civilized” child’s development. These children mimic the behaviors and movements of animals, and often invent their own language. There are only about one hundred cases of “feral children” in the world.

As you may imagine, a feral child is a subject of great interest to researchers. Feral children provide unique information about child development because they have grown up outside of the parameters of “normal” child development. And since there are very few feral children, the case study is the most appropriate method for researchers to use in studying the subject.

At age three, a Ukranian girl named Oxana Malaya suffered severe parental neglect. She lived in a shed with dogs, and she ate raw meat and scraps. Five years later, a neighbor called authorities and reported seeing a girl who ran on all fours, barking. Officials brought Oxana into society, where she was cared for and taught some human behaviors, but she never became fully socialized. She has been designated as unable to support herself and now lives in a mental institution (Grice 2011). Case studies like this offer a way for sociologists to collect data that may not be collectable by any other method.

Experiments

You’ve probably tested personal social theories. “If I study at night and review in the morning, I’ll improve my retention skills.” Or, “If I stop drinking soda, I’ll feel better.” Cause and effect. If this, then that. When you test the theory, your results either prove or disprove your hypothesis.

One way researchers test social theories is by conducting an experiment    , meaning they investigate relationships to test a hypothesis—a scientific approach.

There are two main types of experiments: lab-based experiments and natural or field experiments. In a lab setting, the research can be controlled so that perhaps more data can be recorded in a certain amount of time. In a natural or field-based experiment, the generation of data cannot be controlled but the information might be considered more accurate since it was collected without interference or intervention by the researcher.

Questions & Answers

how is sociology questions are set up
Linda Reply
how the sociology help to change people behaviour in society.
All Reply
And interaction of people culture
Aliyu Reply
what is socioty chang?
Rahim
define personality
Ndugu
society is where a group of people live and interact
Ndugu
sir with detail.
Rahim
it includes culture, that maybe religion, peoples beliefs, organizations ways of life and others
Ndugu
what is sociology
NICOLA Reply
it is the study of society or web of human intraction and relationship
Hope
sociology is the study of group or society, and how they interact
Abigail
wat is social change
Mumi Reply
Social change refers to the transformation of culture, behavior, social institutions, and social structure over time.
Baffa
the term social change has muti dimensions other words.it means change that takes place in society quantitatively and qualitatively .it is the alternative of not only the social structure but also the behavior and attitudes of the members of the society
Evelyn
refers to the transformation of culture
Abigail
what are the components of sociology
Beauty
is a human being a social product
Rukudzo Reply
how can sociological theories be beneficial when studying various groups in a society
Life Reply
what are the important of social stratification
HASSAN Reply
Social control Social interaction Employment Control poverty Social Institution's
Qamar
Hello
masimba
hi
NICOLA
Is sociology ur main programm?
masimba
Yes
NICOLA
what are the uses and application of sociology as a discipline
Nnenna Reply
for people to view themselves. as ahaving a place in the world in different groups by way of there interests and priorities in life
howard
thanks
Nnenna
do you have antropology books we badly need for our class discussion. Our topic is all about Variation in gender hierarchy.
Andrea Reply
no..
Khushboo
hlo
Tariq
hi
Khushboo
how are you
Tariq
Kon ji
Shahzad
hii guys
Andrea
hello to you.
junil
hi.
Altaf
that sounds really interesting
MJ
hi
Altaf
hello
Munni
how are you
Munni
hii
Rima
yes
Jamuna
what is social change?
Sandra Reply
the nature of social change
Sandra
what is the nature of social change?
Gizzie
Social change is way human interactions and relationships transform cultural and social institutions over time .
example of social group ?
Maria
pressure group
Ann
chage in social structure called social change
Muhammad
sooner or later the course rural sociology be out of place
Bulama Reply
what are the effects of isolation to the development of social self?
Richard Reply
demonstrate the relevance of the knowledge of culture socialization to the nursing practice?
Richard
what are the key concept of socialization?
Richard Reply
gender roles
Onias
according to haralambus textbook of sociology, sociologist identified; high culture, folk culture, mass culture, popular culture, subculture and global culture as the types of culture. How legit is this?
Ojewande Reply

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play Download on the App Store Now




Source:  OpenStax, Introduction to sociology 2e. OpenStax CNX. Jan 20, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11762/1.6
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Introduction to sociology 2e' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask