The chapter introduces the study and the main topics addressed. The discussion focuses on research on the transition to motherhood and fatherhood and the ways in which these life course transitions intersect with other life course transitions. The chapter highlights the comparative multi-layered case study design. The importance and uniqueness of the design and the life course perspective is outlined. The chapter presents the design of the book and highlights the rationale for discussing the life course perspective as an overarching theoretical framework in a separate chapter (2). The complex methodological design also merits a separate chapter (3), and the comparative cross-national analysis in the empirical chapters adds analytical strength to the discussions and demonstrates the usefulness of the methodology.
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