Case Studies and Their Frameworks

Positivist, Interpretive, and Emancipatory

Authored by: Judith Felson Duchan

Handbook of Qualitative Research in Communication Disorders

Print publication date:  November  2013
Online publication date:  April  2014

Print ISBN: 9781848726420
eBook ISBN: 9780203798874
Adobe ISBN: 9781134187416


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Case studies have had a strong presence in the study of communication disorders throughout its history. And they continue to do so. Their historical importance has been extraordinary, given that they often appear in the lower rungs of researchers’ status hierarchy. This form of research has typically been regarded as less valid and less generalizable than studies that have many subjects and that are carefully controlled (Gillam & Gillam, 2006; Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, 2001). This set of criticisms, I will argue, arise from unfairly levied positivistic assumptions about the nature of reality and about the purpose of research.

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