Case Study a detailed study of something, someone … but it’s only one case. The
advantage that you learn a lot about the individual case you are looking at.
Limitations is that it’s just one case and can’t prove anything
An analytical case study/ by comparing it to the general theories and
explanation that we are dealing with in the course (or exception to the
theories and average path/ how was the life changed and shaped by sevral
factors (see slides)
Choosing a respondent
Ethical research: voluntary participation/ informed consent – tell exactly
what the project is all about
Take notes even if you record / make a life history chart
Questions to start with:
In what year were you born?
Where were you born?
What education did father and mother have
What work did they do, if any?
How many brothers and sisters did you have and when were they born?
When and where you start going to school?
** Try to get information on the family, education and work, and any other
details in the person’s life that seems important
Was your family living on a farm, a village or in town?
Which child were you?
If you would think back to those early days as you were growing up, what
are some of your earliest memories of the town?
What did you father do? What are you earliest memories of him?
What are some of your other recollections of your father when you were a
Now, could you tell me about your mother? What did you remember
Get people to tell you a story
Follow ethical rules/ attach consent form
Idea that people from different generation were different/ deciding the nature of
a generation [people come to adulthood in the same time and circumstance –
generation is question of the rhythm of history]
Looks at biography +history+ social structure
Life course argument stratification of consciousness [ layers upon layer – stuff
you learned when you are an infant, then as a child, then as adolescent… and
things become as taken for granted/ you learn new things trough what you
already learned before- example observing gender and emphasising gender
o When you grow up you learn thing in a more conscious way… but trough
the filter of the frameworks you already have in mind growing up
o Earlier learning: the social world start to expand as they grow/ schools
get bigger as well and gradually aware of a world that is not in our
o Period of fresh contact during youth, often with history and politics/
this will have an effect on you, and how people around are reacting to it
will have a lasting impact on you – this will create your own framework…
and this will be your own view and everything will be filtered trough
these view points. Formative period [Mannheim 17-24]
Research questions: Is there formative period of time of fresh encounter?
Look at notes
Would the formative period be the same now? Now there is the internet
and can reach younger kids easier/ role of education and different social
locations/ if from a political subculture (parents-family) would lead
individual to set frameworks sooner/ while certain things might make you
get into thing earlier, other things might delay people from getting in it –
becoming an adult becomes much longer (e.g. voting patterns)
Formative period not the same for every person
History and generation
Generation different from others: born at the same time, came to adulthood
during the 60ies, survived the same things (on a wide scale)
Coming to before or after a change in history will have different impact on