Discourse / Discours - Rethinking Case Study Methodology in Poststructural Research

Shan Mohammed, Elizabeth Peter, Denise Gastaldo, Doris Howell

Abstract


Little consideration has been given to how case study might be used in poststructural research to explore power relations that constitute a phenomenon. Many case study scholars, most notably Robert Yin, adopt a postpositivist perspective that assumes the "truth" can be accessed through applying prescriptive and rigid research techniques. Using a discussion of Michel Foucault's key theoretical ideas and the insights gained through a Foucauldian case study of people with advanced cancer who continue to receive curative treatment, the authors argue for the expansion of case study in poststructural inquiry. They propose that the use of poststructuralist case study is valuable because of the flexibility and comprehensiveness of the methodology, which allows for the exploration of a deeper understanding of the broader discourses that shape a phenomenon, as well as how power/knowledge relations shape the behaviours and perceptions of people. They also introduce the reflexive implications of poststructural case study research.

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