the sociological and demographic traditions in life course research n.
Download
Skip this Video
Loading SlideShow in 5 Seconds..
The Sociological and Demographic Traditions in Life Course Research PowerPoint Presentation
Download Presentation
The Sociological and Demographic Traditions in Life Course Research

play fullscreen
1 / 47

The Sociological and Demographic Traditions in Life Course Research

193 Views Download Presentation
Download Presentation

The Sociological and Demographic Traditions in Life Course Research

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

  1. The Sociological and Demographic Traditions in Life Course Research Aart C. Liefbroer

  2. What is the key difference between the sociological and demographic traditions? • The Sociological Tradition: Important sociological questions in studying the life course • The Demographic Tradition: Important approaches in studying demographic life courses Outline

  3. Life course is one of the most interdisciplinary fields in social science • Two types of foci • Domain specific, e.g. demography, health • Specific lens on all domains of the life course, e.g. psychology, sociology • What is specific to the sociological lens? • Sociology looks at life courses not as expression of an unfolding personality but as regularities ‘‘produced’’ by institutions and structural opportunities (Diewald & Mayer, 2009) Life course sociology or demography?

  4. Life course is one of the most interdisciplinary fields in social science • Two types of foci • Domain specific, e.g. demography, health • Specific lens on all domains of the life course, e.g. psychology, sociology • What is specific to the demographic approach? • Focus on demographic events (birth, death, migration, household change) • Focus on methodological toolkit • Focus on macro-level outcomes Life course sociology or demography?

  5. Most famous view is that of Glen Elder • Four key principles of life course research • Human agency • Timing of life (individual time) • Linked lives (social time) • Location in time and space (historical time) What is life course sociology?

  6. What is life course sociology?

  7. What is life course sociology?

  8. What is life course sociology?

  9. What is life course sociology?

  10. What is life course sociology?

  11. What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms

  12. Issue 1: How do institutional arrangements influence individual life courses? What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms

  13. Issue 1: How do institutional arrangements influence individual life courses? What is life course sociology? + Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ + Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms Institutionalization

  14. Leisering (2003) on ‘Government and the Life Course’ • Three core fields (or sets of programs) of social policy • Education • Old-age pensions • Systems of ‘risk management’ – social assistance, social insurance [health, unemployment, accident], personal social services • Three modes of operation of the welfare state in shaping the life course • Structuration / differentiation • Integration • Normative modeling How do policies structure the life course?

  15. Structuration / differentiation • Education and old age pensions differentiate the life course into three stages, thereby structuring the life course • Integration • Establishing connections between the different life stages • Policies act as ‘bridges’ over life’s discontinuities and ‘mend’ the life course • Normative modeling • Policies convey norms about appropriate behaviour, e.g. by putting a premium on ‘normal life courses’ How do policies structure the life course?

  16. How do policies influence the life course?

  17. Issue 2: How do norms and scripts influence individual life courses? What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms

  18. Shared expectations about appropriate ‘life course behaviour’, e.g. occurrence, timing, sequencing and combination of events • Two types of views, shared expectations as norms or as scripts • Norms: expectations backed up by sanctions if the norms are violated • Scripts: expectations internalized by individuals (sanctions are not necessary) How do norms and scripts influence the life course?

  19. Issue 2: How do norms and scripts influence individual life courses? What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ - - Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms Individualization

  20. Two views: • Individualization as a loosening of normative constraints on individual behaviour. Norms and scripts loose their hold on individuals and they start deciding by themselves. Individual freedom in living one’s life is increased (Giddens, Beck) • Individualization as an internalization of normative constraints (Elias) or as a way of imbuing individuals with capacities and skills that are essential in modern societies with rapidly changing demands (Meyer) • Both views have different consequences • The first view emphasizes decreasing cultural and structural constraints • The second view emphasizes changing cultural and structural constraints What is individualization

  21. Issue 3: How are lives as ‘lived’ and lives as ‘perceived’ related? What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms Life planning

  22. The idea that individuals have to plan their own future. This implies that they can influence their own behaviour and that they (constantly) reinterpret their life experiences • This view is put forward by Giddens and Beck & Beck-Gernsheim. The latter even speak about homo optionis • This view has been criticized by researchers who emphasize that social background still is a very dominant force in shaping life courses • Research by Brannen & Nielsen and Brooks & Everett suggests: • In particular middle class young adults focus on life planning • Lower classes are not very likely to focus on life planning – they follow traditional scripts • Upper classes are not very likely to focus in life planning – their superior education (Oxbridge) makes it unnecessary to plan Life planning

  23. Life planning may be influenced by one’s capacities to plan and one’s needs to plan • Research by Hellevik & Settersten shows: • Across European countries, young adults with more personal resources are more likely to plan than young adults with fewer personal resources • Young adults in countries with less favourable societal conditions are more likely to plan than young adults in countries with more favourable societal conditions Life planning

  24. Issue 4: How do people deal with discrepancies between scripts and opportunities? What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms Culture / Structure discrepancies

  25. Life course ‘culture’ (e.g. stress on life planning and freedom of choice) and life course ‘structure’ (e.g. the life course policies that are available) may not fit • This situation of a discrepancy between societal goals and societal means may lead to anomie (Merton) • Five ways to deal with this discrepancies • Conformism (both goals and means are accepted) • Innovation (goals are accepted but means not) • Ritualism (means are accepted but goals not) • Retreat (both goals and means are not accepted) • Rebellion (both goals and means are not accepted, but new ones are actively propagated) Culture/structure discrepancies

  26. Issue 5: How do changes in life courses influence policies and scripts? What is life course sociology? Rules & Policies Life course as ‘lived’ Life course as ‘perceived’ Scripts & norms Duality of structure

  27. Structure influences life course behaviours and perceptions • The notion of ‘agency’ implies that the opposite effect also occurs: if people start behaving differently, this will lead to changing rules and changing scripts • Life course research is ‘biased’ towards structure influencing behaviour, and little attention is paid to the opposite path of influence Duality of structure

  28. The history of life course demography dates back at least to the 17th century……. • John Graunt’s life table What is life course demography?

  29. The life table is based on the timing of individual events • But is meant to describe the evolution of a population • The same is true for another key demographic concept: the cohort • A cohort is a group of individuals who have experienced the same event at the same time (or time-period) • Social change partly results from the succession of cohorts in a population (Ryder) • Demographers use the Lexis-diagram to study whether variation in rates depend on age, period or cohort A focus on the macro-level

  30. Lexis-surface (Vaupel et al., 1998)

  31. Entry into marriage (Billari & Liefbroer, 2010)

  32. Demographers want to describe population changes, but also project these changes • What is going to happen with: births, deaths, migration, household formation? • To project, understanding the mechanisms behind demographic behaviours is crucial • This asks for the analysis of the determinants of micro-behaviour • From demography to demology? From macro to micro

  33. Focus is on describing and understanding: • Timing of events (when do they happen?) • Sequence of events (in what order do they happen?) • Quantum of events (howoften do they happen?) • Twomain data sources • Register data • Survey data • Twomain approaches • Event-history analysis • Sequence analysis Micro-level approaches

  34. Advantages: • Information on the complete population • Accurate information on vital events (no recall error) • Disadvantages • Information is nottargetedtosocial-scienceuse • Information on a limitednumber of variables Register data

  35. Advantages: • Data on more relevant processes (e.g. cohabitation) • Information on a rich set of covariates • Disadvantages • Non-response bias • Recall error Survey data

  36. Main goal is to examine which factors influence the timing of demographic events • Focus on causal analysis • Main challenge: Are ‘explanatory’ variables really exogenous or not? • Examples: • Relationship between educational attainment and childbearing • Relationship between marriage and childbearing • ‘Remedies’ • Use of time-varying covariates • Simultaneous modelling of multiple processes Event-history analysis

  37. Example from Brien et al., 1999

  38. Example from Brien et al., 1999

  39. Main goal is to examine the patterning or sequencing of demographic events • Focus on descriptive analysis Sequence analysis

  40. Example from Bras et al., 2010

  41. Examples of sequences from age 18 to 30: • 18 P 21 S 22 SC • 18 P 19 K 20 N 24 S 27 SC 29 S • 18 N 22 S 23 SC 25 SCP 29 SC Sequence analysis

  42. Main goal is to examine the patterning or sequencing of demographic events • Focus on descriptive analysis • Challenges: • How to calculate the level of similarity between sequences • How to decide on the number of different patterns • How to link sequences to background characteristics Sequence analysis

  43. Example from Bras et al., 2010

  44. Example from Bras et al., 2010

  45. The sociological tradition looks at the impact of social regularities on the life course (how do societies shape the life course?) • The demographic tradition looks at a specific set of phenomena (birth, death, migration, household shift) • The sociological tradition is strong in theories, the demographic tradition is strong in methods • Both traditions share a reliance on survey data Conclusions

  46. Beck, U., & Beck-Gernsheim, E. (2002). Individualization. Institutionalized individualism and its social and political consequences. London: Sage. • Billari, F. C. & A. C. Liefbroer (2010) Towards a new pattern of transition to adulthood? Advances in Life Course Research, 15, 59-75. • Brannen, J., & Nilsen, A. (2002). Young people’s time perspectives: From youth to adulthood. Sociology, 36(3), 513-537. • Bras, H., Liefbroer, A.C., & Elzinga, C.H. (2010). Standardization of pathways to adulthood? An analysis of Dutch cohorts born between 1850 and 1900. Demography, 47 (4), 1013-1034. • Brien, M. J., L. A. Lillard & L. J. Waite (1999) Interrelated Family-Building Behaviors: Cohabitation, Marriage, and Nonmarital Conception. Demography, 36, 535-551Brooks, R., & Everett, G. (2008). The prevalence of “life planning”: evidence from UK graduates. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 29(3), 325-337. • Buchmann, M. (1989). The script of life in modern society: Entry into adulthood in a changing world. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. • Diewald, M., & Mayer, K. U. (2009). The sociology of the life course and life span psychology : Integrated paradigm or complementing pathways ? Advances in Life Course Research, 14, 5-14. • Elder, G.H. Jr. (1998). The life course as developmental theory. Child Development, 69 (1), 1-12. • Furlong, A., & Cartmel, F. (2007). Young people and social change: New perspectives (2nd ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press. • Giddens, A. (1991). Modernity and self-identity: Self and society in the late modern age. Cambridge: Polity Press. • Heinz, W. R., Huinink, J., & Weymann, A. (Eds.). (2009). The life course reader. Individuals and societies across time. Frankfurt/Main: Campus Verlag. References

  47. Leisering, L. (2003). Government and the Life Course. In: J.T. Mortimer and M.J. Shanahan (eds.), Handbook of the Life Course (pp. 205-225). New York: Kluwer. • Liefbroer, A. C., & Billari, F. C. (2010). Bringing Norms Back In: A Theoretical and Empirical Discussion of Their Importance for Understanding Demographic Behaviour. Population, Space & Place, 16(4), 287-305. • Marini, M. M. (1984). Age and sequencing norms in the transition to adulthood. Social Forces, 63(1), 229-244. • Merton, R. K. (1968). Social theory and social structure. 1968 enlarged edition. New York: The Free Press. • Meyer, J. W. (1988). Levels of analysis. The life course as a cultural construction. In M. W. Riley & B. J. Huber & B. B. Hess (Eds.), Social change and the life course (Vol. 1, pp. 49-62). Newbury Park, Cal.: Sage. • Ryder, N. B. (1965) The Cohort as a Concept in the Study of Social Change. American Sociological Review, 30, 843-861. References (2)