As a researcher in sociology, deciding on a qualitative or quantitative research strategy is just the first of three key decisions you will have to make before you begin your research. Research design the framework you are going to use for collecting and analyzing data. Research methods the actual techniques you will use to collect data. Five different research designs are used in sociological research: Case studies, longitudinal studies, comparison (or cross-sectional)s, longitudinal comparison studies, experiments. Case study is a detailed analysis of a single case, usually focused on a community or organization in a specific location. One example is william foote whyte"s street corner society (1955), a classic case study of social relations, social structure, and politics in a poor italian community cornerville ) in. Whyte helped pioneer the technique of participant observation, a research method often used along with a case study research design.