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Religion and Welfare in EuropeGendered and Minority Perspectives$
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Lina Molokotos-Liederman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447318972

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447318972.001.0001

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Between contextuality and comparability: a dilemma in qualitative comparative case studies

Between contextuality and comparability: a dilemma in qualitative comparative case studies

Chapter:
(p.25) Two Between contextuality and comparability: a dilemma in qualitative comparative case studies
Source:
Religion and Welfare in Europe
Author(s):

Pål Repstad

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447318972.003.0002

This chapter illustrates the challenge of obtaining notably rich data from the respective localities, while at the same time being able to draw effective and insightful comparisons. Comparative case studies contain an inherent tension between offering a useful and problem-oriented opportunity for conducting research keeping the local situation in mind and seeking more general patterns, which may turn out to be fruitful and rewarding for social science in the long run. The inherent tension in the case study method shows that there is no perfect research design for study in social science. However, when an international group of researchers has been given the means to conduct a large international study and has succeeded in the painstaking job of establishing an international framework, there are some good arguments to develop a design for the study with a minimum level of standardisation, to increase the possibilities of identifying causal mechanisms.

Keywords:   comparative case studies, social science, case study method, research design, international study, international framework, causal mechanisms

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