måndag 19 oktober 2015

Post-seminar 6

For this theme I prepared by finding two papers of my own, one I felt was relevant as a paper showing qualitative research and one being a case study. The lecture we were supposed to have on this theme was unfortunately cancelled so we had to rely on our discussion in the seminar for learning something new after our first written reflection.

In the seminar we discussed both qualitative research and case studies. Regarding qualitative research we discussed our papers and our view on qualitative research. Most of us had the same definition of qualitative research, and we drew parallells between our papers to try and find out something new about qualitative research. However we felt so sure about of definitions that I at least did not gather anything new from our discussion.

Because we had discussed qualitative research so much before in the 4th seminar we felt more driven to talk about case studies during this seminar. A lot of times in the group, when discussing our papers, went to try to find a clear definition of a case study and a case. When is it a case study and to what extent is it a case? Our definitions of these will be apparent later in the reflection.

In our discussion both in the group and with the whole seminar we gathered that a case study aims to study something small but in depth and focus on what makes it different and special. It wouldn’t make much sense to do a case study where there are many similar instances, then you might gather more from looking at the population of similar instances and what differentiates them as a group.

One interesting thing that came up however was that one might go about doing a case study of one instance among many similar just to gather enough data to know how to research the group. This also came up in our discussion, that a case study can bring about enough understanding of a case (an event, a phenomena, in short a specific context) to bring about some information about it and help us investigate it further. This is in the nature of a case study since they are made to study something new and different in order to understand how it works and if it is relevant.

We also discussed that the nature of case studies is kind of organic, where you from the start might not have a bright idea on how exactly to go about investigating the case, but that you discover things that lead to new understandings and give a hint of how to proceed in the research.

One interesting note the seminar leader made was that a case study is often more interested in generating new theory instead of relying on old theory to prove something. A case study is in this way veered more towards gathering something new about a certain case which in itself does not need to be grounded in a lot of old theory. Instead You attack it from a perspective where you ask yourself “what is this? How can I learn more about it? Is this relevant for the future?”.

12 kommentarer:

  1. Dear Anton,
    What a stupendous reflection! It was a delight to read and made my morning a bit brighter than usual. I find your thoughts on point and when reading your discussions about what defines a case study I feel that I get a better understanding of the concept. Something you don't mention, that came up during my seminar, is that a case study does not contain a hypothesis and that this is something that makes the case study stand out compared to other types of research methods. It seems you have grasped the concept of case studies well and can explain it to a first year student with ease. I wish you all the best with the final blog post!

  2. Hi Anton,
    Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts! I agree with you that a case study does not seek out to address specific hypothesis. I think that it helps to enter into an area where you know too little and want to find out more. The main point of a case study is to build a theory and not test theory. During the discussion in the seminar, one person gave an example when a case study was useful: A paper about internet addiction in the year 2000 in which surveys and interviews were used. The person explained that it was a good example of trying to find out if something is there or not. What are your thoughts on this? Well done!

  3. Greetings Anton!
    Seems like you learned a lot about case studies this week! You mention that case studies should investigate a small and narrow field. I think that this is what defines a case study. Do describe case studies as "organic" is very spot on. While I have never conducted a case study, I would take a wild guess and say that case studies probably often takes unexpected turns. And if the case study shows something interesting it might be worth looking into with a proper thorough research.

  4. Hi Anton!
    I greatly enjoyed reading your reflections and your points regarding case studies! You seem to have gathered a deeper understanding of the concept during the theme and really grasped what it is about. I find case studies interesting since they are more of a strategy of research than a method in themselves. Case studies can then contain both qualitative and quantitative methods to gain knowledge and create theory.

  5. Hi Anton,

    very nice and thorough reflection! I felt the same way during the discussions in my group that it was much more interesting to discuss case studies rather than qualitative research since we talked about it during theme 4. Comparing your different papers within the group seems like a good way to go about this theme and I, like you, also missed the lecture this week. I like that you bring up what Illias said about case studies, that they are often more interesting when they generate new knowledge and theory instead of confirming old one.

  6. Hi Anton!
    Thanks for a well written reflection. I came to the same conclusions as you did and found case studies more interesting to talk about this week. I think you wrote it well when you described it as organic, that it takes unexpected turns. I also like that you said case studies often provide new theory rather than proving something. A case study is something very practical and natural to me, it's not as set up as most studies are (I guess I case study still can be but you know my point). It's a scenario, which makes it very interesting.

  7. Hi!
    I think most of us quite quickly moved on from the discussion of qualitative methods to the discussion of case studies on the seminar, since we - during the week of quantitative methods - already discussed most aspects of qualitative research. Your seminar discussion on the fact that case studies can generate knowledge applicable to a broader scientific scenario is an interesting aspect of the concept. As you mention, this is probably mostly thanks to case studies being conducted on something novel and interesting for the broader grouping. An interesting thought, for sure! Furthermore, you seem to have grasped the concepts of the theme beyond fully and you provide for this in a great way throughout the entire reflection. Great job on the last post-reflection!

  8. Hi!

    Thank you for a well formulated reflection of theme 6 with many interesting arguments. One of your arguments that struck me was how to use a case study to examine something that are specific and in depth, and that is one of the biggest reasons to use a case study. Good job!


  9. Hi Anton,
    I have to say that your reflection is very well written and summarizes the topic very good. As our seminar group was later than yours we didn’t discuss qualitative research any longer as we already did this when we discussed the characteristics of quantitative research. As you didn’t get any more insights from your brief discussion I think it was a good decision. I think that you presented the quintessence of case study research, when you said that it is more interested in generating new theories instead. Good reflection!

  10. Hi
    Thanks for sharing , I was in a different seminar group with you but different with yours , we have still spent a lot of time talking about qualitative study which is a little bit pity for me for missing so much interesting topics on case study . Well your reflection gives me a clear clue about what case study is about and seems to me that you learned a lot about case studies this week! I like that you bring up what Illias said about case studies that they are often more interesting when they generate new knowledge and theory instead of confirming old one. You mention that case studies should investigate a small and narrow field. I totally agree with you on that and I think this feature defines case study in some way .

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