Journal Article

Using local communities to establish geographical boundaries for case studies


Aim: To discuss using local communities to establish geographical boundaries in a case study approach. Background: Case study is widely used in the social sciences to explore complex phenomena within a real-life setting. Applying case boundaries is vital to ensure cases are easily identifiable and similar enough to be treated as instances of the same phenomenon. Discussion: Post codes can be used to define geographical boundaries. A broad range of statistical data is collected from these populations including demographic information, which can assist in identifying communities that have issues or characteristics which may benefit from further research. Data collection from communities allows researchers to access appropriate populations. Conclusion: Using local communities to identify case boundaries helps to provide a clear periphery to the case, and generate local solutions to local problems. Implications for research/practice: Researchers using this approach benefit from being able to immerse themselves in the local community. This close engagement helps to ensure local community engagement with research projects and findings.

Attached files


Bosley, Helen
Appleton, Jane V.
Henshall, Catherine
Jackson, Debra E.

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences\Oxford School of Nursing and Midwifery


Year of publication: 2019
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-07-18

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of Using local communities to establish geographical boundaries for case studies


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