methodological approaches, practices and reflections

Julia Brannen and 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:
methodological approaches, practices and reflections

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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

Chapter.  5383 words. 

Subjects: Marriage and the Family

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