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Life Course Perspective and Education

The life course perspective in sociological research combines a theory of the institutionalized construction of people's “normal” ages, identities, and gendered lives with biographical studies of how individuals subjectively tell stories about their experiences. Where the lifecycle approach traces a linear biological path from birth to death, sociologists highlight the roles that history, social structure, and cultural context play in influencing people's trajectories through certain episodes of their lives. From a life course perspective, researchers pay particular attention to the contextual specifics of, for instance, being a college student during the 2010s, investigating how assemblages of experiences shape the demographic events of individuals and their age-cohort peers. Such a constellation may include, for example, the influence of new information technologies on university teaching, or crises ...

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