The Emergence and Development of Life Course Theory

  title={The Emergence and Development of Life Course Theory},
  author={Glen H. Elder and Monica Kirkpatrick Johnson and Robert Crosnoe},
Today, the life course perspective is perhaps the pre-eminent theoretical orientation in the study of lives, but this has not always been the case. The life histories and future trajectories of individuals and groups were largely neglected by early sociological research. In the pioneering study, The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918-1920), W. I. Thomas (with Florian Znaniecki) first made use of such histories and trajectories and argued strongly that they be investigated more fully by… 
The Structure of the Life Course: Classic Issues and Current Controversies
Abstract The structure of the life course occupies a central, yet often unacknowledged, position in life course research. On the one hand, life course theory emphasizes in various and often disparate
Human Development in Time and Place
The study of the life course and human development has evolved rapidly over the past quarter century, extending across substantive boundaries of the social, behavioral, and medical sciences. These
Institutionalization of Life Course Studies
Life course study relies for its empirical basis on the longitudinal surveys that supply the means of charting the development of individuals through their lives. Understanding the
In recent years, the scientific interest of many demographers has shifted from studying “demographic regimes” and large-scale processes to analysing longitudinal micro data in the form of “life
The Sociological Life Course Approach and Research on Migration and Integration
Over the last four decades the life course perspective has become an important and fruitful approach in the social sciences. Some of its proponents even claim that the life course approach today is
The Life Course and Human Development.
The life course paradigm has replaced child-based, growth-oriented (“ontogenetic”) accounts of the person with models that emphasize the timing, social context, and organization of lives from birth
Reassessing (de)standardization: Life course trajectories across three generations
A central problem of life course analysis concerns the changes brought about by the pluralization and differentiation of biographies in western societies. Lives would be increasingly dissimilar from
Fertility analysis from a life course perspective.
A series of empirical studies touching upon childbearing intentions and outcomes in multidimensional life courses; dyadic decision-making and social influences on fertility; and the interdependence of spatial mobility, regional context, culture, and fertility are presented.
The Polish Peasant and the sixth life course principle
In life course studies five principles guide social science researchers: (1) the principle of human development and aging, (2) the principle of human agency. (3) the principle of historical time and
New Directions in Life Course Research
Life courses are studied in sociology and neighboring fields as developmental processes, as culturally and normatively constructed life stages and age roles, as biographical meanings, as aging


Life Course: Innovations and Challenges for Social Research
Recent developments of life-course theory and research are discussed in a comparative framework. With accelerating social change, the life course has become a topic that centres on the interplay of
Time, human agency, and social change: perspectives on the life course
The life course has emerged over the past 30 years as a major research paradigm. Distinctive themes include the relation between human lives and a changing society, the timing of lives, linked or
Children of the Cultural Revolution : The state and the life course in the People's Republic of China
From 1967 to 1978, the state send-down policy in the People's Republic of China forced 17 million urban youth to live and work in rural areas. We examine the life experiences of the children of the
American Lives: Looking Back at the Children of the Great Depression
Adolescent planful competence, a combination of self-confidence, dependability and an investment in intellectual matters has a significant and continuing influence on many aspects of the authors' adult lives, even into old age.
Family History and the Life Course
  • G. Elder
  • Sociology, Medicine
    Journal of family history
  • 1977
Change within families over the life course has been documented by studies since the turn of the century, in particular the sequential change in family relationships, adaptive options, and material welfare that occurs through the addition, aging, and loss of members.
Methods of life course research : qualitative and quantitative approaches
Foreword - Anne Colby Crafting Life Course Studies PART ONE: THE LIFE COURSE MODE OF INQUIRY Life Course Research - Janet Z Giele and Glen H Elder Jr Development of a Field A Life Course Approach -
Sociological Perspectives on the Life Cycle
ABSTRACT Students of the life cycle have given much attention to the biological timetable of human development, but much less attention to the socio-historical context. A few of the major
Sociological Perspectives on Life Transitions
Research on life translt10ns highlights the normative and nonnormative changes that individuals experience over time. During the past two decades, life course perspectives have provided a strategic
The sociology of the life course and lifespan psychology : Diverging or converging pathways?
Lifespan psychology and life-course sociology concern themselves to a considerable extent with separate areas of interest and separate lines of research. Life-course sociology aims to understand the
Changing Pathways to Attainment in Men's Lives: Historical Patterns of School, Work, and Social Class
Pathways to attainment are modified through historical time, reflecting the progressive consolidation of the educational trajectory in the life course, as well as changingpatterns of social class and