Difference between Case Study & Phenomenology

What is a Case Study?

A case study is a research method that is utilized to investigate an individual, a group of people, or an event. This approach enables the researcher to gain a broader understanding of the research subject and delve deeper into the topic. Case studies are commonly used in various sciences, such as psychology, political science, and sociology. A case study comprises several research techniques, and based on the research, the researcher can employ one or multiple techniques. Interviews and observation are among the most frequently used methods. For instance, an in-depth interview allows the researcher to gain a better understanding of the research problem, as it enables them to look beyond observable factors.

In psychology, the case study method serves a unique purpose. In earlier days, it was utilized in clinical medicine, providing doctors with a clear understanding of a patient’s condition before prescribing medication, and also allowing them to comprehend the patient’s previous medication and encountered problems. This can include the patient’s personal information and experiences. The importance of the case study method is that it enables the researcher to understand a specific problem in a profound manner. It also allows them to be receptive to rich and descriptive data, which is why a case study can be considered a qualitative research method. Now let us move on to Phenomenology.

What is Phenomenology?

In contrast to the case study, Phenomenology is both a philosophical approach and a methodology. It has had a significant impact on various social sciences. For example, it has influenced the philosophical trends of Sociology and Psychology. Phenomenology was primarily developed by Alfred Schutz, Peter Burger, and Luckmann. Schutz emphasized that people take everyday realities for granted, and the researcher’s role should be to analyze these realities to understand the meanings that people assign to various phenomena in society.

The way people perceive the world around them is never objective but rather highly subjective. However, the world is created through relations and objects to which people have assigned specific meaning. The researcher should pay attention to these structures of meaning so that they can also understand how people perceive the world.

Key Takeaways

  • Case Study: A case study is a research method used to investigate an individual, a group of people, or an event, producing rich, qualitative data.
  • Phenomenology: Phenomenology is a research methodology and a philosophy that explores the lived experiences of people and the structures of meaning, producing qualitative data that primarily explore the subjective meanings that people create and maintain.
  • Focus: In a case study, attention is paid to the individual, a group, or an event, while in Phenomenology, attention is paid to the lived experiences of individuals.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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