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Reflections on a Cross-National Qualitative Study of Within-Household Finances


  • This article was edited by Fran Bennett.

Department of Sociology, Umeå University, 90187 Umeå, Sweden (


This report presents some reflections on and experiences from a cross-national qualitative research project about within-household finances conducted by sociologists from Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United States. The authors focus first on the challenges of making qualitative cross-national comparisons and argue for the importance of establishing a common understanding of methodological and theoretical aspects. They then go on to consider the relevance of political – cultural context for understanding within-household distribution of resources. They suggest that meanings of money are influenced by understandings of gender, which in turn influence and are influenced by welfare regimes. They then present a few outcomes from a cross-national analysis of results from Spain, Sweden, and the United States. They conclude the article by suggesting that comparisons on the level of results rather than on the level of primary data is a viable option for qualitative cross-national analysis.