School-to-Work-Transition—Career Development and Family Planning: Methodological Guidelines and Challenges of a Qualitative Longitudinal Panel-Study

Thomas Kühn, Andreas Witzel


We are presenting the basic features of our qualitative German panel study concerning the job entry of young adults, dealing also with methodological issues. The selection of the respondents in qualified jobs (commercial-technical, crafts/trade, services) took into account gender-specific aspects, different labor-market prospects and regions. From the quantitative panel, a theoretical sample of respondents was selected who were interviewed three times in three-years intervals (3 waves). These interviews, focusing on individual biographies (i.e. orientations and action strategies) form the basis for constructing a typology. Methodological innovations concern the modeling of the sequence of occupational actions and orientations as life-course sequences and the case-specific and case-comparing analysis of interview transcripts. This was done—based on a data bank containing the interview material—by means of a detailed scheme of categories. The integration of quantitative and qualitative longitudinal data presents a theoretical and methodological challenge. Our focus is on biography and life-course research which suggests an interdisciplinary approach. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0002178


school-to-work transition; longitudinal study; career development; family planning; grounded theory; qualitative data base; typologies

Copyright (c) 2000 Thomas Kühn, Andreas Witzel

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