Case Studies of Exceptional People: What Can They Teach Us?

1994 Journal of Narrative and Life History  
This article describes the use of the case study method for the investigation of exceptional moral commitment. William Damon and I used the case study method in this research because we were interested in sustained, long-term moral commitment and in the transformation of moral goals over time within the context of life histories, social relationships, and other influences. The study yielded in-depth life history interviews with 23 people who were selected for having worked for many years to
more » ... ess such issues as civil rights, poverty, and peace. Case material was used to illustrate and flesh out a theoretical account of a developmental process calledthe transformation of goals through social influence. The use of 23 diverse cases also allowed us to identify common characteristics that cut across the interviews. The three main themes that emerged from the case material were certainty, positivity, and unity of self and moral goals.(Psychology; Human Development; Case Study)
doi:10.1075/jnlh.4.4.07cas fatcat:4znboliezbfsda2fc5lazqiqli