The chapter describes the overall aims of the Pathways to Success and ELITES projects and the methods used by the various national research teams to investigate these common aims. It explains the relationship of the Pathways and ELITES projects to the earlier comparison of the second generation conducted by the TIES project, as well as the decision to focus on children of migrants who had achieved steep social mobility compared to their parents. To give readers a clear conception of the type of problems which the Pathways and ELITES projects started off from, the first part of the chapter gives some data from the TIES study: comparative data on the educational and occupational trajectories of children of migrants from Turkey in Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden. These show that, even though the socio-economic backgrounds and migration histories of the first generation in the four nations were similar, the educational and the occupational stories of their children were widely different, both in the percentages of the second generation which attained ‘success’, and in the specific ‘pathways’ used (e.g. through the education system or in the labour market). The chapter then continues with an explanation of the methods used in the Pathways and ELITES studies to investigate the social mechanisms underlying these kinds of differences, found in diverse national – but also occupational – ‘integration contexts’. The sampling criteria used for the qualitative interviewees are described, and basic data is provided on who was interviewed by the various research teams. Without overlapping with methodological information given in individual chapters, the topics covered by all the teams’ interviews are listed. The final part of the chapter touches on some of the problems involved in making qualitative comparative of ‘integration contexts’ (whether taking nations, cities or occupations as the units of comparison).