In search of good care: the methodology of phenomenological, theory-oriented ‘N=N case studies’ in empirically grounded ethics of care

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 22 (4):573-582 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This paper proposes a new perspective on the methodology of qualitative inquiry in ethics, especially the interaction between empirical work and theory development, and introduces standards to evaluate the quality of this inquiry and its findings. The kind of qualitative inquiry the authors are proposing brings to light what participants in practices of care and welfare do and refrain from doing, and what they undergo, in order to offer ‘stepping stones’, political-ethical insights that originate in the practice studied and enable practitioners to deal with newly emerging moral issues. As the authors’ aim is to study real-life complexity of inevitably morally imprinted care processes, their empirical material typically consists of extensive and comprehensive descriptions of exemplary cases. For their research aim the number of cases is not decisive, as long as the rigorous analysis of the cases studied provides innovative theoretical insights into the practice studied. Another quality criterion of what they propose that should be called ‘N=N case studies’ is the approval the findings receive from the participants in the practice studied.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Care, Normativity and the Law.Rita Manning - 2015 - In Hamington Engster (ed.), Care Ethics and Political Theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 127-145.
A Meta-Ethical Critique of Care Ethics.Abraham Rudnick - 2001 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 22 (6):505-517.
The Social Determinants of Health, Care Ethics and Just Health Care.Daniel Engster - 2014 - Contemporary Political Theory 13 (2):149-167.
Can There Be an Ethics of Care?P. Allmark - 1995 - Journal of Medical Ethics 21 (1):19-24.
Health Care, Capabilities, and AI Assistive Technologies.Mark Coeckelbergh - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):181-190.
De-Romanticizing Care: A Critique of Care Ethics.Ann Marie Pooler - 1999 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison


Added to PP

17 (#634,531)

6 months
1 (#417,896)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?