Historical Representation
  • ISSN 1053-6981
  • E-ISSN: 2405-9374
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AbstractThis 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 address such issues as civil rights, poverty, and peace. Case material was used to illustrate and flesh out a theoretical account of a developmental process called the 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)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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