Chapter

Cross-national comparisons: the history–biography link

Ann Nilsen

in Transitions to parenthood in Europe

Published by Policy Press

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428646
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307563 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428646.003.0002
Cross-national comparisons: the history–biography link

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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

Chapter.  7082 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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