Towards a socio-structural framework for life course analysis
|Title||Towards a socio-structural framework for life course analysis|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Levy, R, Bühlmann, F|
|Journal||Advances in Life Course Research|
|Keywords||life course – social stratification – social mobility – gender – agency – in-stitutionalisation|
In spite of several decades of development, the theoretical underpinnings of life course research go rarely beyond the five general principles formulated by Elder. This article proposes a socio-structural framework based on a definition of the life course as an individual movement through social space. It integrates structural and cultural aspects, but gives priority to the former, and considers social space to be defined by three basic dimensions of differentiation: hierarchical ranks, specialisation, and system levels. In a second part, we discuss how Elder’s principles relate to and can be used in the framework we propose. Since several disciplines are interested in this topic, our approach includes a series of docking points not only for other theoretical perspectives from sociology, but also from other disciplines such as social psychology or political science.