The case study research method in translation studies

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The objective of this article is to initiate a discussion on the definition, use and outcomes of case study research within translation studies. The article argues that the method is widespread in the discipline, especially at postgraduate level, and yet its characteristics and requirements are rather taken for granted and not necessarily elaborated on. The first part of the article looks at the definitions of case study in the social sciences and its uses within translation studies; emphasizes the importance of distinguishing between case and context; and delivers an overview of the differences between single- and multiple-case studies. The second part concentrates on the relationships between case studies and generalizations, with a view to understanding how to achieve valid and useful conclusions out of the (mostly single) cases prevalent in the discipline. It is the author’s hope that the article will assist new researchers, as well as their supervisors, to determine the requirements of this particular method as well as the best course of action to achieve generalizable results in their theses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-56
Number of pages20
JournalInterpreter and Translator Trainer
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • generalizations
  • definitions
  • case study
  • case
  • research methodology
  • qualitative research
  • social sciences


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