Life course refers to the identifiable stages of transition that individuals and households typically pass through, such as childhood, youth, parenthood, middle age, and retirement. It is, therefore, a term used to relate social structures, institutions, and history to particular changes and trajectories in individuals and families over time. Its importance to consumer culture rests on the identification of typical patterns (and demand) for consumption activities across life-course stages and in terms of how consumer culture impacts on, and even fragments, those stages. Its contemporary usage highlights the importance of life experience for understanding social change and the contingency and variation of individual or family transitions as opposed to a series of fixed, sequential stages. This disembarks from the term's original use by sociologist Leonard ...

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