Analysing Gender and Work in Europe
Edited by Daniela Grunow and Marie Evertsson
Chapter 3: Comparing couples’ narratives within and across countries: research design, sampling and analysis
This chapter discusses the methodological choices which provide the foundations for this edited volume. The methods applied have been chosen to disentangle the interrelationship between the individual and institutional factors contributing to the gendered division of labour. These factors come together in complex ways to produce and to some extent exaggerate a gendered transition to parenthood, as biological, social and institutional aspects reinforce each other, and thus contribute to gendered constructions of motherhood and fatherhood. The analyses that this book is based on are drawn from semi-structured interviews with working couples expecting their first child in eight European countries. The qualitative approach used allows for an in-depth analysis of men’s and women’s various experiences and struggles during this transition. We first outline the maximum variation design reflected in the selection of countries, then turn to the theory-based homogenous sampling strategy underlying the recruitment of couples and elaborate on the advantages of applying a linked lives perspective. Finally, we describe the central features of the 167 couples analysed in this volume.
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