A sociological method analogous to medical case-histories, tracing the career of a phenomenon through one example or many, which enables comparative and longitudinal analysis. The extended history of a selected case may be one of a number in a case-study research project, providing an enormously detailed and substantiated account, with reference to some specific characteristic or experience. The most common type is the life-history of an individual which, despite its title, is necessarily selective, giving a post hoc account of the antecedents, causes, consequences, contextual factors, perceptions, and attitudes associated with some key feature of the person or their experience-such as the fact of their being an immigrant, criminal, or charismatic leader. By their nature, such case-histories give greater emphasis to personal characteristics than to structural factors, and to specific processes rather than general patterns. Case-histories sometimes take as their unit of study a group, organization, or community, and are thus closely allied to the case-study. A single case-history is often used to generate hypotheses for further study. Case-histories are also used extensively in psychiatry and social work , and in criminology and clinical psychology, employing the skills and methods of the respective disciplines.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

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  • case history — case histories N COUNT A person s case history is the record of past events or problems that have affected them, especially their medical history. I took her to a homoeopath, who started by taking a very long and detailed case history …   English dictionary

  • case history — n a record of an individual s personal or family history and environment for use in analysis or instructive illustration * * * case his·to·ry (kāsґ hisґtə re) the collected data concerning an individual, his family, and environment,… …   Medical dictionary

  • Case-History — Case His|to|ry, auch Case|his|to|ry [ keishistəri] die; , s <aus engl. case history »(Vor)geschichte«>: a) Fallgeschichte; <ausführliche Beschreibung einer Werbeaktion (Wirtsch.); b) Beschreibung sämtlicher erfassbarer Lebensdaten,… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • case history — or case study n. collected information about an individual or group, for use esp. in sociological, medical, or psychiatric studies …   English World dictionary

  • case history — ► NOUN ▪ a record of a person s background or medical history kept by a doctor or social worker …   English terms dictionary

  • case history — index dossier Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • case history — case .history n a detailed record of someone s past illnesses, problems etc that a doctor or ↑social worker studies …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • case history — case ,history noun count the details of someone s past illnesses or problems that are kept as a record for use by doctors or SOCIAL WORKERS …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • case history — noun detailed record of the background of a person or group under study or treatment (Freq. 1) • Hypernyms: ↑history, ↑account, ↑chronicle, ↑story • Hyponyms: ↑family history, ↑medical history, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • case history — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms case history : singular case history plural case histories the details of someone s past illnesses or problems that are kept as a record for use by doctors or social workers …   English dictionary

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