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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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methodological approaches, practices and reflections

methodological approaches, practices and reflections

(p.27) Three methodological approaches, practices and reflections
Transitions to parenthood in Europe

Julia Brannen

Ann Nilsen

Policy Press

The chapter outlines the design of the Transitions study and the rationale for an embedded, multilayered case study design. It provides an overview of the methods with particular reference to methodological issues in cross-national case study research, with particular attention to issues of generalisation in qualitative cross-national studies. It demonstrates how theoretically informed case selection at different levels of context provides a rigorous and in depth framework for the analysis of different types of cross-national data (qualitative and quantitative) that goes beyond what survey data alone can provide. The chapter highlights how different layers of context are brought to bear on the interpretation of the biographies of individuals and thereby generate 'thick descriptions' that allow extrapolation to other conditions and contexts beyond the particular study.

Keywords:   biographical methods, case study, comparative analysis, contextualisation, cross-national research, generalisation, life course

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