Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: May 28, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963930 | Print ISBN: 9781412941655 | Online ISBN: 9781412963930| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The life course as a field of study is a relatively new paradigm that developed after the 1950s, based on historical demography, research on the sociology of aging, life histories, and panel and longitudinal studies. Life course research is interdisciplinary in nature and combines several models to describe the social development of individuals across the life course. Generally, researchers focus on five elements of the life course paradigm: the principle of life-span development, agency, time and place, timing, and linked lives. Life-span development refers to an individual's capacity to learn and grow throughout his or her life. Human agency time ...