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ERIC Number: ED371974
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Case Studies of Exceptional People: What Can They Teach Us?
Colby, Anne
This document describes the use of the case study method of behavioral science research in an investigation of exceptional moral commitment. The aim of the study was to learn more about the nature, development, and expression of this kind of exceptional commitment. The paper discusses why this particular research method was chosen as the most appropriate for the researchers' question, what they were able to learn from it, and what its limitations were. The study consisted of lengthy interviews with 23 people identified as "moral exemplars" according to criteria contained in the author's book "Some Do Care: Contemporary Lives of Moral Commitment" (1992), but not included in this paper. The subjects had contributed to a number of fields including civil rights, civil liberties, poverty, and the environment. From these 23, five people were selected for more intensive study, and were interviewed several times. Excerpts from interviews with one of these subjects, civil rights activist Virginia Durr, is used as illustration in the document. The researchers used oral histories, autobiographies, interviews with co-workers, and others documents when available. Analysis was approached through descriptive accounts of the subjects' own perspective on their lives, moral goals, and work toward these goals and their representations of the mental strategies they used to maintain their commitment under difficult circumstances. The case material illustrates a developmental process of the transformation of goals through social influence. Positivity and unity of self and moral goals are discussed. (DK)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A