You might ask how useful certain concepts or theories are for understanding particular patterns of behaviour. Here, the focus of attention is not so much to discover something about the social world, for example virtual communities, as to reach a judgement about the value of key concepts or theories in understanding that world.
How the study is approached and how contrasting approaches are drawn upon needs to be stated very clearly.
Qualitative data is particularly useful when you wish to find out why people engage in such behaviour.
Think about the Research Methods modules you have taken so far.
A major challenge in case study dissertations is connecting your own primary research or re-analysis with the broader theoretical themes and empirical concerns of the existing literature.
Most dissertations demand either primary or secondary research. These questions demand primary or secondary analysis of data.You will probably want to use in-depth qualitative data, and you may wish to adopt a realist, a phenomenologist, or a constructionist approach to the topic.Qualitative dissertations will include descriptive material, usually extracts from interviews, conversations, documents or field notes, and are therefore likely to be nearer to the upper limit of your word range (e.g. The types of method suitable for a dissertation could include content analysis, a small scale ethnographic study, small scale in-depth qualitative interviewing.You may not be fond of statistics, but the potential relevance of a quantitative approach should be considered and similarly, the idea of qualitative analysis and conducting your own research may yield valuable data.The possibilities of using quantitative and qualitative data are also discussed.Watch video on approaching methodologies (.wmv) Your approach, research design, and research question are all connected.'Approach' means something more than the type of data you use – it refers to your overall orientation to research and the type of claims you will make for your study.You need to justify your approach and methods and to cite appropriate literature to help you do this.You will probably want to use large datasets and undertake quantitative data analysis, and you will be adopting a realist approach to the topic studied.They will also include tables and figures giving your important findings.Remember that all tables must be carefully titled and labelled and that sources of your data must be acknowledged.