Case-based methods have a long history in the social sciences. They are extensively used and raise many practical and theoretical questions. This book provides a comprehensive, critical examination of case-oriented research. It offers concrete proposals about the best research methods and provides an unparalleled guide to the emergence and complexity of the field.
- Situates the reader in the essential theoretical and practical issues;
- Demonstrates the unity and diversity of case-oriented research through an examination of case-based methods;
- Distinguishes between case-based and case study research;
- Elucidates the philosophical issues around case based methods;
- Examines case-based work in the context of both social theory and theories of research methods.
The primary goal of Charles Ragin, social scientist and innovative methodologist, is to develop methods that help students and researchers unravel causal complexity in their research. This has led to his developing and championing the use of set-theoretic methods in the social sciences, most notably, his Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) and fuzzy set analysis. In a recent review article in Contemporary Sociology entitled "The Ragin Revolution" (Vaisey review), sociologist Stephen Vaisey describes Ragin's work as a "principled alternative" to quantitative analysis (which assumes away casual complexity) and qualitative case-based methods (which lack tools for generalizing across cases.) Many who have adopted Ragin's methods believe that these techniques combine the strength of both quantitative and qualitative methods, while transcending their limits.
INTRODUCTION: Case-Based Methods: Why We Need Them; What They Are; How to Do Them - David Byrne PART ONE: THE METHODOLOGICAL CONTEXT OF CASE-BASED METHODS Complexity and Case - David L Harvey The Contextualist Approach to Social Science Methodology - Lars Mjoset Reflexivity, Realism and the Process of Casing - Bob Carter and Alison Sealey Single-Case Probabilities - Malcolm Williams and Wendy Dyer Complex Realist and Configurational Approaches to Cases: A Radical Synthesis - David Byrne PART TWO: METHODS AND TECHNIQUES OF CASE-BASED RESEARCH Typologies - Ways of Sorting Things Out Explanatory Typologies in Qualitative Analysis - Colin Elman Introducing Cluster Analysis: What Can It Teach Us about the Case? - Emma Uprichard Visualizing Types: The Potential of Correspondence Analysis - Dianne Phillips and John Phillips How Classification Works, Or Doesn't: The Case of Chronic Pain - Emma Whelan Quantitative Approaches to Case Based Methods Case-Centred Methods and Quantitative Analysis - Ray Kent The Logic and Assumptions of MDSO - MSDO Designs - Gisele De Meur and Alain Gottcheiner The Case for Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA): Adding Leverage for Thick Cross-Case Comparison - Benoit Rihoux and Bojana Lobe On the Duality of Cases and Variables: Correspondence Analysis (CA) and Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA) - Ronald L Breiger Using Cluster Analysis, Qualitative Comparative Analysis and NVivo in Relation to the Establishment of Causal Configurations with Pre-existing Large N Datasets: Machining Hermeneutics - David Byrne Qualitative Approaches to Case-Based Research Computer-Based Qualitative Methods in Case-Study Research - Nigel Fielding and Richard Warnes Extending the Ethnographic Case Study - Sean O Riain Scope in Case-Study Research - Gary Goertz and James Mahoney Small-N Access Cases to Refine Theories of Social Exclusion and Access to Socially Excluded Individuals and Groups - Nick Emmel and Kahryn Hughes Using Comparative Data: A Systems Approach to a Multiple Case Study - Fred Carden PART THREE: CASE-BASED METHODS IN DISCIPLINES AND FIELDS Making the Most of an Historical Case Study: Configuration, Sequence, Casing, and the US Old-Age Pension Movement - Edwin Amenta Poetry and History: The Case for Literary Evidence - John Walton Social Interactions and the Demand for Sport: Cluster Analysis in Economics - Paul Downward and Joseph Riordan The Proper Relationship of Comparative-Historical Analysis to Statistical Analysis: Subordination, Integration or Separation? - James Mahoney and P Larkin Terrie Case Studies and the Configurational Analysis of Organizational Phenomena - Peer C Fiss The Case in Medicine - Frances Griffiths Team-Based Aggregation of Qualitative Case Study Data in Health Care Contexts: Challenges and Learning - Sue Dopson, Ewan Ferlie, Louise Fitzgerald and Louise Locock Working with Cases in Development Contexts: Some Insights from an Outlier - Pip Bevan Non-Nested and Nested Cases in a Socioeconomic Village Study - Wendy Olsen Causality and Interpretation in Qualitative Policy-Related Research - David Byrne, Wendy Olsen and Sandra Duggan Reflections on Casing and Case-Oriented Research - Charles C Ragin