Imagined Worlds: Case Study

“The in-depth examination of a single instance of some social phenomenon” (Babbie, The Practice of Social Research, 1979, p.309)

“A method involving systemically gathering enough information about a particular person social setting, event or group to permit the researcher to effectively understand how the subject operates or functions” (Berg, 2004)

Five rationales for single case study (Yin, 2003):

  1. Critical Case: a theory we may wish to confirm/challenge
  2. Unique Case: particularly rare cases
  3. Representative case: eg communities
  4. Revelatory case: unique access to inaccessible groups
  5. Longitudinal case: at two or more points in time

“A how or why question is being asked about a set of contemporary events over which the investigator has little control”(Yin, 1994, p.9)

Single Case Study: Context (Social, Economic, Political etc) + Case

Multi Case Study: Multiple of the above

Single Case Study, Multiple Examples: Context + Multiple Cases

Multiple Case Study, Multiple Examples: Multiple of the above, for example comparing multiple films of multiple directors

Case Study Examples: Questionnaire/Survey, Interviews, Object Analysis, Focus Group, Archival Research, Literature Review, Discourse Analysis, Visual Analysis, Participant Observation, Ethnography

Audio Tooth by James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau

“What’s the design?”

The Audio Tooth is a “low frequency receiver” that could function like a phone and people could receive a telephone call and a chip in the tooth would receive it and using vibrations along the jaw bone transform it into sound that would go into a person’s ear.

“Who was the designer?”

The designers were James Auger and Jimmy Loizeau, students and then graduates at the Royal College of Art.

“What was their intention?”

To come up with a new way to communicate

“What’s it made out of?”

It’ s a purely conceptual design but it would be electronic chips and (presumably) some sort of plastic.

“How was it made?”


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