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The life course perspective

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Heather Peterson

on 20 December 2016

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Transcript of The life course perspective

The life course perspective
emphasizes the ways in which humans are
interdependent

gives special attention to the
family
as the primary
arena for experiencing and interpreting the wider social world

sees humans as capable of making
choices
and constructing their own life journeys

emphasizes
diversity
in life journeys and the many
sources of that diversity

recognizes the
linkages
between childhood and adolescent
experiences and later experiences in adulthood
Diversity in Life Course Trajectory
Other 2 Related Themes
Dominant and Interrelated
4 Themes of Life Course Perspective
Additional 2 Themes
Developmental Risk and Protection
How to Research
Risk & Protection
What are some important concepts in the life course perspective?
Environment
Cohort
Transition
Trajectory
Life event
Turning points
Other 2 Related Themes
Longitudinal Research
The life course perspective
with an introduction to theories of human behavior
attempts to understand the continuities & twists and turns in the paths of individual lives

recognizes the influence of historical changes on human behavior

recognizes the importance of timing of lives not just in terms of chronological age but also in terms of biological age, psychological age, social age, and spiritual age
What are the components in the life stage equation?
Biological
Psychological
Behavioral
Social

What are the dimensions of age?
Chronological

Age
– not the only factor in timing
of lives. This is the a person's numerical age.

Biological

Age
– a person’s level of physical
health, measured by functioning of organ systems

Psychological

Age
– behavioral and perceptual age; “age identity”; capacity, skills, memory, learning, intelligence, and
emotions

Social

Age
– age-graded roles and behaviors expected by society; “age norm”; law-enforced ages; 9 phases discussed in the book

Spiritual

Age
– current position of a person in the ongoing search for meaning, purpose, and moral relationships

What components make
up a person's environment?
Family
Culture
Physical Environment
Community

What is a trajectory?
Longer view
patterns of change and stability
What does it mean to transition?
a
change
in role
or status
What does it mean
to be a cohort?
A generation:
experience social changes in a culture at the same age
What is a turning
point?
Aren't all events "life events"?
a
departure
from previous roles and statuses
Maybe many transitions

Life events are
huge

Serious and long-lasting effects

Measure the effects
Changes your trajectory
"Defining moment"
Turning points:
Transitions vs. Life events
Change opportunities

Change environment

Change self-concept

If consequences

If social adjustments

If a crisis ensues

If family conflict

If off-time


Transitions:
Life events:
This is an event, not the
transition that follows
1) Interplay of Human Lives and Historical Times

2) Timing of Lives

3) Linked or Interdependent Lives

4) Human Agency and Making Choices

1) Diversity in the Life
Course Trajectories


2) Developmental Risk and Protection
What are some key facts about each theme?
Interplay of Human
Lives and Historical Time
Cohort effects- same point in life course of a generation that has lasting impact



Great Depression
Housing Crisis
Globalization
Use personal power to achieve goals





One of the
most
positive contributions to the life course perspective

Help social workers focus on
strengths perspective
Timing of Lives
Linked/
Interdependent Lives
With the wider
world
Life Story Interview
Hint
: Prepares you for the intro
of major paper
Takes about 1 hour
Life Story Interview
Pair off

Grab a script and some paper

Follow the interview script for 1 person in pair (yourself or someone you know well)

Draw an eco map, or a table of contents, or a
picture on the construction paper

Does not need to be the same person for the major paper
Age at which certain events occur

Timing of roles
(e.g., parenthood)

On- and off-time events
Standardization in the Timing of Lives
Related to
social
age

Age structuring:
Standardizing ages at which role transitions occur

Policies and laws that regulate transitions:

education, work, drive, drink, adult, marriage, public office, SSI
Welfare states that provide greater support = greater stability

Landscape of education and work are changing!
Between family
members
Types of Links and Reciprocity
Family members
Reciprocity
No fixed system
Community/World
Control





Support
Reflection
How did your interview go?

Do you understand chapter 1?

Do you have any questions about the material (or syllabus or assignments?

What was the best thing you learned today?
Millennials
and the wider world
This generation is created the "sharing economy".

A "necessity" in the time of economic decline and delay of role responsibilities.

Related to globalization.
Human Agency
Albert Bandura
Personal Agency
: individual influences environment/behavior

Proxy Agency
: influence others who have resources

Collective Agency
: group level, act together

Cultural variations in which is most-used
4 Major Themes

1) Interplay of Human Lives and Historical Time


2) Timing of Lives


3) Linked or Interdependent Lives


4) Human Agency in Making Choices
Acknowledge diversity: Social workers seek to end the dichotomy between "the norm" and "the other".


Intersectionality theory: all of us are members of a number of
socially constructed
identity groups


Intersectionality of their groups, for any person, develops a sense of identity
Lives in historical time
: cohorts have different trajectories (country by country)

Timing of lives
: Age norms country by country

Linked lives
: social networks and intersections of trajectories

Human agency
: making choices between options
Interplay w/ other themes
Be Serious
Be Silly!
Oh my gosh!!! You've just been elected POTUS!
(President of the United States of America)

Tell me about your life path! What twists and turns have you experienced on your way to the nomination? What was your turning point?

AND, who's your VP?! Why them?
Write for 10 minutes on this prompt:
Make sure your name is written clearly at the top of the page.
Researchers focusing earlier and earlier in childhood (schizophrenia, diabetes, etc.)
In contrast to "cross-sectional" research

Looks at the longer
version of events

Important to your case study and the interview group work in a few minutes
Cumulative
Advantage/Disadvantage
Who in this room thinks that they are privileged?

In what ways can a person be privileged?

Do all people experience privilege in the same way?
http://www.vagabomb.com/This-Comic-Will-Forever-Change-the-Way-You-Look-at-Privilege/
http://www.buzzfeed.com/regajha/how-privileged-are-you#.pfkBmeq5mJ
1) Cumulative advantage/disadvantage:
privilege and oppression that occurs longitudinally


2) Ecological development risk protection:
risk factors and protective factors
2 Frameworks for Study
Ecological Developmental Risk & Protection
Risk Factors
: Increase probability of developing and maintaining problem conditions

poverty, incarcerated parents, etc.

Protective Factors
: decrease the probability of developing and maintaining problem conditions

close family, mentorship, etc.
Note: Neither framework suggests that oppression or disadvantage, or risk factors lead to poor trajectories.
That's where protective factors and human agency come into play!
Theories That Can Be Used In the LCP
Conflict Theory
- people are driven by conflict, dominance, and oppression


Systems Theory
- every one/thing/organization is a system


Social Constructionist Theory
- nothing is shared, all understanding is unique


Psychodynamic Theory
- internal processes (needs, drives, & emotions) motivate humans
Please
NOTE
: Bring a copy of the rubric for grading class presentations next week!
If you are presenting, bring a copy of the rubric to grade your fellow presenters.
Full transcript