Definition of Life Course
Life Course Pronunciation
Syllabification: life course
International Phonetic Alphabet
- American English – /laɪf kɔrs/
- British English – /laɪf kɔːs/
- “By depriving people of access to opportunities, for instance, discrimination often leads to lack of qualification for them. The involuntary ascribed and negatively evaluated categorical status that emerges from discrimination not only takes precedence over any achieved status but reduces the probability of such achievement, thereby lowering all life chances. Put simply, discrimination makes it more difficult for the objects of discrimination to develop merit and reduces the likelihood that their merit will be recognized and rewarded” (McNamee and Miller 2013:180).
- “[Inheritance is b]roadly defined as one’s initial starting point in life based on parental position, includes a set of cumulative nonmerit advantage for all except the poorest of the poor. These include enhanced childhood standards of living, differential access to cultural capital, differential access to social networks of power and influence, infusions of parental capital while parents are still alive, greater health and life expectancy, and the inheritance of bulk estates when parents die” (McNamee and Miller 2013:71).
- “The Baby Boomers are a defining feature of American society and a touchstone for research on aging and the life course. Boomers have embodied many trends, from the sexual revolution to rising women’s workforce participation to changes in intergenerational relationships. While unique for its sheer size, the cohort is also unique for its trajectory. The Baby Boomers came of age during a period of great technological and social innovation. With important implications for family life, their aging is a testing ground for theories of cohort and generation, and it underscores the importance of research on the older population and later life. To review facts well known to sociologists, the Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. Their defining feature is the cohort’s size. Much to the surprise of demographers accustomed to the low fertility of the 1930s, the U.S. birth rate remained high for nearly 20 years before it fell to the low levels we know today” (Treas and Marcum 2011:132).
- Aging and Social Gerontology Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Death and Dying Research Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Family and Kinship Resources – Books, Journals, and Helpful Links
- Word origin of “life” and “course” – Online Etymology Dictionary: etymonline.com
- Ariès, P. 1965. Centuries of Childhood. New York: Random House.
- Davis, Kingsley. 1984. “Wives and Work: The Sex Role Revolution and its Consequences.” Population and Development Review 10(3):397–417. doi:10.2307/1973512.
- Erikson, Erik. 1965. The Challenge of Youth. Garden City, NY: Anchor/Doubleday.
- Hunt, S. 2005. The Life Course: A Sociological Introduction. Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Priestley, M. 2003. Disability: A Life Course Approach. Cambridge: Polity Press.
- Schafer, Markus H. 2008. “Parental Death and Subjective Age: Indelible Imprints from Early in the Life Course?” Sociological Inquiry 79(1):75–97. doi:10.1111/j.1475-682x.2008.00270.x.
- activity theory
- continuity theory
- family life cycle
- life expectancy
McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller, Jr. 2013. The Meritocracy Myth. 3rd ed. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Treas, Judith, and Chistopher Steven Marcum. 2011. “Diversity and Family Relations in an Aging Society.” Pp. 131 in Handbook of Sociology of Aging, edited by R. A. Settersten, Jr., and J. L. Angel. New York: Springer.
Bilton, Tony, Kevin Bonnett, Pip Jones, David Skinner, Michelle Stanworth, and Andrew Webster. 1996. Introductory Sociology. 3rd ed. London: Macmillan.
Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Clarke, Alan. 2010. The Sociology of Healthcare. 2nd ed. Harlow, England: Longman.
Giddens, Anthony, and Philip W. Sutton. 2014. Essential Concepts in Sociology. Cambridge: Polity.
Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.
Henslin, James M. 2012. Sociology: A Down-to-Earth Approach. 10th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Kornblum, William. 2008. Sociology in a Changing World. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).
Marsh, Ian, and Mike Keating, eds. 2006. Sociology: Making Sense of Society. 3rd ed. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).
Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).
Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.
Scott, John, and Gordon Marshall. 2005. A Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Thompson, William E., and Joseph V. Hickey. 2012. Society in Focus: An Introduction to Sociology. 7th ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.
Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).
ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “life course.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved January 21, 2020 (https://sociologydictionary.org/life-course/).
APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)
life course. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/life-course/
Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “life course.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed January 21, 2020. https://sociologydictionary.org/life-course/.
MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)
“life course.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 21 Jan. 2020. <https://sociologydictionary.org/life-course/>.