1 Read – Chapters, Journal Articles, and Research Blogs: Find top research articles to cite and enrich your reading with your ready-made bibliography of qualitative research from SAGE books, journals, and other credible sources. Use the discussion questions online to practice thinking critically about research.

12.1 Recruiting a sample

This paper shows how a sample was gathered during four research studies. It is particularly useful for revealing the practical issues involved in recruiting people to study:

Thomas, M., Bloor, M., & Frankland, J. (2007). The process of sample recruitment: an ethnostatistical perspective. Qualitative Research7(4), 429–446.

Q. What hurdles might you run into in recruiting participants for your research?

Q. How can you anticipate and reduce your recruitment stress?

12.2 Case selection

Case selection is the rational selection of one or more instances of a phenomenon as the particular subject of research. This entry from the SAGE Encyclopedia of Case Study Research provides a good discussion of the reasons for selecting a case or cases.

Q. How does case selection differ for exploratory and explanatory research questions?

12.3 Generalization

For an excellent discussion of generalization from case study research, see Giampietro Gobo’s Doing Ethnography (2008) Chapters 5 and 14 and the associated website.

We are usually concerned about the number of cases in our study because we want to generalize from our findings. In this paper, Bente Halkier discusses three ways in which we can generalize in case study research.

Halkier, B. (2011). Methodological Practicalities in Analytical Generalization. Qualitative Inquiry17(9), 787–797. 

This paper continues the debate about how many cases you need with a particular focus on ethnographic work.

Small, M. L. (2009). `How many cases do I need?’: On science and the logic of case selection in field-based research. Ethnography10(1), 5–38.