Ethnography and case study: A comparative analysis 

The purpose of the present paper is to describe the unique characteristics of 
ethnographic and case study research. The central difference between ethnography 
and case study lies in the study’s intention. Ethnography is inward looking, 
aiming to uncover the tacit knowledge of culture participants. Case study is 
outward looking, aiming to delineate the nature of phenomena through detailed 
investigation of individual cases and their contexts. Some practical and 
theoretical applications of case study research are described. The comparative 
analysis of ethnography and case study is developed with illustrative examples 
from education, psychology, and sociology.