Theoretical Perspectives for Social Justice Inquiry
This chapter explores case studies have shown how inequality perpetuates poverty, have critiqued scientific racism, and have contributed, more broadly, to social justice by calling attention to covert, unseen, ignored, or otherwise hidden processes that oppress, marginalize, or disenfranchise individuals or groups. The development in anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and education, case study research is useful in developing deeper understanding of social relations, agency, and structure, and in addressing questions of power and cultural formations. Case study research provides a means for academics to grapple with the concrete relations in people's everyday lived experiences. Case studies, particularly when engaged through ethnographic fieldwork, offer more in-depth and detailed accounts than many other kinds of methods afford. In this regard, case study methodologies have served as a critique of positivist, quantitative, and dispassionately "hard" sciences. It offers a brief discussion of the documentary film One Day on Earth to illustrate many of the characteristics, affordances, and constraints of case study research.