There are many different ways to study scientific phenomena, and one of the defining factors is whether the phenomenon, be it an individual (such as a child in the third grade) or an institution (such as a corporation), is studied in groups or individually.

The case study approach is a method used to study an individual, an institution, or any unique unit in a setting in as intense and as detailed a manner as possible. The word unique here is critical because the researcher is as interested in the existing conditions surrounding the object of study as much as the object of focus itself. In other words, if one were to study an 8-year-old child with a focus on her social development, one would, of course, ...

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