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EDUC.6922: Qualitative Research Methods for Practitioner Scholars

Case Study

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Case Study Examples

The abstracts below provide an idea of what case studies can accomplish. Although case study research can seldom be generalized, the depth in a single case study often reveals important nuances and considerations that may not come to light when research is conducted with a broader lens. As you can see, the "case" in a case study can refer to a single individual, multiple individuals, a social group or subculture, a program, phenomenon, or situation. (You do not need to click through to the studies unless you want to; the abstracts should give you a sense of case study research in a variety of fields.)



The National Flood Insurance Program: A Case Study in Policy Failure, Reform, and Retrenchment

Strother, Logan.Policy Studies Journal; Washington Vol. 46, Iss. 2,  (May 2018): 452-480. DOI:10.1111/psj.12189
In this paper, I present an intensive case study of the development of the National Flood Insurance Program to advance two key arguments. First, the conventional model of adoption of general interest reform neglects an important aspect of political context: whether the relevant policy domain is one with or without “publics.” I argue that in domains without publics the politics of reform will differ substantially from the accepted model. Second, I argue that the type of learning necessary to address a given policy failure matters in reform politics. Instrumental learning is necessary but may not be sufficient for successful general interest reforms. When the social construction of a policy failure is such that many people misconceive of the fundamental purpose of a policy, social learning must take place before instrumental learning can be effective.


Sexting and Privacy Violations: A Case Study of Sympathy and Blame

Teens who consensually create and share sexual images of themselves are criticized in the media and criminalized in US law, but there is less specific attention to those who distribute such images without permission. This article focuses on one such case, in which an 18-year-old distributed explicit photos of his ex-girlfriend to her family, friends, and teachers. This paper offers an in-depth qualitative discourse analysis of the case, examining the two sides of the response to the perpetrator: the legal system viewed his actions as severely harmful and considered him a sexual predator, while most of the media coverage supported the young man by blaming the victim. This case demonstrates the need for more nuanced responses to sexual privacy violations that do not blame victims but instead hold perpetrators accountable without demonizing and stigmatizing them as registered sex offenders.


Making the case for innovative reentry employment programs: previously incarcerated women as birth doulas - a case study

The purpose of this paper is to make a case for novel and innovative reentry programs focused on women of color and to describe policy recommendations that are necessary to support the sustainability of these programs and in turn the success of the women who participate in them. A review and analysis of the literature that described job-training opportunities specifically targeted to women exiting jail and the impact on recidivism provided limited information. The authors developed, implemented, and evaluated doula training program for low-income and women of color to determine if birth work could provide stable income and decrease recidivism. Training low-income formerly incarcerated women to become birth doulas is an innovative strategy to solve employment barriers faced by women reentering communities from jail. Realigning women within communities via birth support to other women also provides culturally relevant and appropriate members of the healthcare team for traditionally vulnerable populations. Doulas are important members of the healthcare workforce and can improve birth outcomes. The authors' work testing doula training, as a reentry vocational program has been successful in producing 16 culturally relevant and appropriate doulas of color that experienced no re-arrests and to date no program participant has experienced recidivism. To be successful, the intersections of race, gender, and poverty, for women of color should be considered in the design of reentry programs for individuals exiting jail. The authors' work provided formerly incarcerated and low-income women of color with vocational skills that provide consistent income, serve as a gateway to the health professions, and increase the numbers of well-trained people of color who serve as providers of care.



Large-scale environmental degradation results in inequitable impacts to already impoverished communities: A case study from the floating villages of Cambodia

Althor, GlennMahood, SimonWitt, BraddColvin, Rebecca MWatson, James EM.Ambio; Stockholm (Feb 2018): 1-13.DOI:10.1007/s13280-018-1022-2
Cambodian subsistence communities within the Tonle Sap Great Lake area rely on resource extraction from the lake to meet livelihood needs. These fishing communities—many of which consist of dwellings floating on the lake—face potentially profound livelihood challenges because of climate change and changing hydrology due to dam construction for hydroelectricity within the Mekong Basin. We conducted interviews across five village communities, with local subsistence fisher people in the Tonle Sap in 2015, and used thematic analysis methods to reveal a fishery system that is undergoing rapid ecological decline, with local fishing communities increasingly experiencing reductions in available fish stocks. As a result, over 100 000 people living in these communities are experiencing a direct loss of well-being and livelihood. We discuss these losses and consider their implications for the future viability of Cambodian floating village communities.