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Methods of Life Course Research

  • George P. Moschis
Chapter

Abstract

Researchers who employ the life course paradigm to investigate various phenomena can use both positivistic methodologies, which are grounded in the assumption of causal relations, as well as humanistic approaches capable of helping enrich their understanding of various phenomena (Giele and Elder 1998a; Shanahan et al. 2016). Several techniques of data analysis, both quantitative and qualitative, can be used to investigate consumption-related issues within the life course paradigm (for a review of life course methods, see Giele and Elder 1998a; Mortimer and Shanahan 2003; Shanahan et al. 2016). This chapter presents research designs appropriate for life course research and explains the main methods of analysis. It gives illustrations of recently emerged quantitative methods, with special emphasis on event history analysis, and several qualitative or humanistic (interpretive) methods. Also, this chapter provides information on limitations and potential applications of analytic methods that are yet to be widely used in life course studies. Additional illustrations of applications of life course methods are shown in later chapters.

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Authors and Affiliations

  • George P. Moschis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MarketingGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA

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