Encyclopedia of Sciences and Religions

2013 Edition
| Editors: Anne L. C. Runehov, Lluis Oviedo

Life Course, life cycle, life history, life span and life stage

  • Duane F. AlwinEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-8265-8_201175

Life course means: (1) Events marking transitions and trajectories of roles extending across the life span, such as entering and leaving school, acquiring a full-time job, getting married, divorced, having children, retiring, and the like; (2) a perspective on the investigation of the changing environment of the individual and its developmental implications; (3) an approach offering a way of linking early life experiences to later life outcomes, such as the exposure to early life risk factors and their consequences for later life health.

Life cycle means: (1) In biology, the term refers to the continuous and irreversible sequence of changes undergone by an organism from one primary form, as a gamete, to the development of the same form again. (2) In sociology, the term refers to a series of stages, across the life span, such as childhood and middle age, which are socially constructed and characterize the course of existence of an individual.

Life history means: (1) In biology, the term...

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyPennsylvania State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA