Senior Research Fellow
Indian Agricultural Statistics Research
Institute (IASRI), New Delhi
Case study method is an important method of social research.
This method is extensively used in sociology, education,
poli...
According to P.V. Young“Case study is a method of exploring and analyzing the life of
a social unit, be that unit a person...
1. Study of single unit: Under this method only one unit is
selected for purpose of investigation among all the units of t...
Intensive or depth study: Under this method an investigator
has to employ all his skills in systematic gathering of enough...
Case studies are not limited to any single source of data
collection. A number of sources of data collection should be
emp...
Personal records: Most of the people keep personal records,
documents letters and write their autobiography or memoir.
The...






Personal letters: Personal letters including diaries, and
correspondence.
Interviewing individuals: Interview wit...
Research goes beyond the securing of data for the purpose of
information. It must help to explain causal relationships. Ca...
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Case study

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Case study

  1. 1. Senior Research Fellow Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute (IASRI), New Delhi
  2. 2. Case study method is an important method of social research. This method is extensively used in sociology, education, political science, public administration, management and psychology. Library and information science is not an exception to it. A case study is deep and intensive study of a particular social unit, the field of case study method is limited but it aims at studying all aspects of a social unit.
  3. 3. According to P.V. Young“Case study is a method of exploring and analyzing the life of a social unit, be that unit a person a family, institution, cultural group or even an entire community.” F.L. Whitney says“Case study is a complete analysis and report of the status of an individual subject with respect as a rule to specific phases of his total personality.” Goode and Hatt says“Case Study is a way of organizing social data so as to preserve the unitary character of social object being studied.”
  4. 4. 1. Study of single unit: Under this method only one unit is selected for purpose of investigation among all the units of the universe. The selected unit may be a large or small depending upon the nature of the study. According to Giddings: The unit can be a person, a single accident of his life or a whole nation, empire or a historical age. 2. Complete Study: Under this method we have to make a study of the unit in its wholeness, i.e. it is an approach which views any social unit as a whole. This unit is taken as representative of a group and only such aspects of his life are studied that are relevant to the problem under study.
  5. 5. Intensive or depth study: Under this method an investigator has to employ all his skills in systematic gathering of enough information about a unit to permit one to understand how it function. Qualitative Study: Under this method the researcher has to depend heavily upon his own observation and logic rather than the facts. Flexible Method :The case study method is flexible in character therefore a researcher has complete independence in approaching the problem from any angle that he consider desirable and fruit bearing from his point of view. He has also right to change, omit or distort the variable under study keeping in view that the results are not effected.
  6. 6. Case studies are not limited to any single source of data collection. A number of sources of data collection should be employed by the researcher.  Personal records;  Life histories;  Personal documents;  Personal letters;  Interviewing individuals; and  Observations.
  7. 7. Personal records: Most of the people keep personal records, documents letters and write their autobiography or memoir. These documents play an important role in the case study as they contain description of the important events of the life of the writer as well as his relation towards them. Life histories: Life history is the study of various events of respondent’s life together with attempt to find their social significance. Life history data is generally gathered through prolonged interview with the responds, use of any other written material about his life. Personal Documents: Personal Documents e.g. Diaries, memoir, autobiographies.
  8. 8.    Personal letters: Personal letters including diaries, and correspondence. Interviewing individuals: Interview with the subject, relatives, friends, teachers and counsellors etc. Observations: Observation by the researcher or his informants of physical characteristics, social qualities, or behaviour.
  9. 9. Research goes beyond the securing of data for the purpose of information. It must help to explain causal relationships. Case study research involves an attempt to publish certain principles in the analysis of social situations, which the case studies will bring to light. In library and information science the use of case study method in the contemporary research is increasing day by day.

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