Foreword 216 ENZO MINGIONE should also discover when and why s/he became unemployed, how old s/he was and what work experience s/he has already had and one should also assume that the time spent unemployed, looking for work, or in casual jobs is very important too. At this point the researcher has a great deal of information, but it is a real luxury to be able to dedicate a lot of time and human resources to penetrating the thick jungle of variables in order to construct correct correlations. One of the riddles arises from the second type of luxury: the very fact that there is so much information and the difficulty of choosing those points which should take on an important interpretative meaning. But the difficulties do not stop here. Precisely in this historical moment when, at last, we have the technical and financial means to develop longitudinal studies – national and European panels are becoming ‘old’ enough to permit in-depth long term analyses to be carried out and many welfare agencies have electronic archives which can be used for research – the instability and heterogeneity of family and work biographies are complicating the picture. Longitudinal analysis requires standard parameters Quality & Quantity Springer Journals


Quality & Quantity , Volume 33 (3) – Oct 19, 2004

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Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright © 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
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