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Transitions to parenthood in EuropeA comparative life course perspective$
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Ann Nilsen, Julia Brannen, and Suzan Lewis

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428646

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428646.001.0001

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Cross-national comparisons: the history–biography link

Cross-national comparisons: the history–biography link

(p.9) Two Cross-national comparisons: the history–biography link
Transitions to parenthood in Europe

Ann Nilsen

Policy Press

A life course perspective was central to the design of the study. This involves linking historical and biographical time and thus highlighting the structure-agency dynamic. Chapter 2 outlines the main concepts in the theoretical framework of a life course perspective. Since time, at individual and institutional levels, is an essential feature of the perspective the chapter presents a brief overview of some of the broader historical changes that have affected the lives of the interviewees. In addition to drawing on literature from welfare state research it also includes brief descriptions of some main characteristics of political, economic and social dimensions in the countries between 1945 and 1980 to outline the type of society the interviewees were born into and the traditions in which their upbringing was rooted. An analytical distinction is made between west, south and east European countries.

Keywords:   time, history, biography, gender, life course, social change, social institutions, social structure, contextualist approach

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