Semistructured Life History Calendar Method

  • Ingrid A. NelsonEmail author
Reference work entry


The Life History Calendar (LHC) methodology was pioneered for large-scale quantitative life course studies but has since been adapted for various research goals across the health-related fields and social science disciplines. This chapter explores the potential of a semistructured Life History Calendar administered in tandem with open-ended interviewing to facilitate qualitative life course research. By merging the depth across multiple social contexts characteristic of the Life History Calendar method with explanatory data gleaned from interviews, this semistructured protocol succeeds at producing nuanced longitudinal data. In this chapter, I highlight the benefits and limitations of the semistructured Life History Calendar method, address common implementation issues, and offer examples of how the semistructured Life History Calendar method has been used to study trajectories of education, employment, health, and other topics, among diverse populations.


Ecological systems theory Event history analysis Life course theory Life History Calendar method Qualitative social research Social pathways 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and Anthropology DepartmentBowdoin CollegeBrunswickUSA

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