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The Life Course
The life course

The concepts of ‘lifespan’ and ‘lifecycle’ are can be found within medical and social gerontological texts in reference to the process of ageing (from birth to death). The application of these overarching terms does have its difficulties because they suggest a predictable and universal series of biological stages through which all people must inevitably pass. In practice, while birth, maturation and death are constants of the human condition, they set only the most general limitations on individual and group experiences.

The ‘life course’ concept is now widely utilized within Health and Social Studies of ageing because it frames these biological process in a much more dynamic way. Individual biological development is seen to take place within a social context. This approach ...

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