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Life Course Perspective Bengston V L Allen K R 1993 The life course perspective applied to families over time In P G Boss W J Doherty R LaRossa W R Schumm by 2rwZZG


									     Life Course Perspective

   Bengston, V. L., & Allen, K. R.
(1993). The life course perspective
applied to families over time. In P. G.
Boss, W. J. Doherty, R. LaRossa, W. R.
Schumm, & S. K. Steinmetz (Eds.),
Sourcebook of family theories and
methods: A contextual approach (pp.
469-499). New York: Plenum Press.

 To Study Families Over Time we Need to
    Move beyond the individual life span
    Move beyond family level of analysis.
    Examine intimate connections in families and
     long-term relationships in terms of
      social structure,
      and history.
    Explore socially constructed meanings which
     result from
      and communication.
    Refine concepts, methods, and theories to
     explain change over time within families.

                                    Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
    Basic Themes of the Life Course
   Time
   Context
   Process
   Meaning

                           Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
          Five Specific Points:
 Time influences relationships in three
    Life experiences influence relationships.
    Family events and family transitions influence
     individuals and interactions.
    Historical time -- events in the broader social
     context -- influence roles and values.
 Individuals are influenced by social
    Social structures (e.g., racism, sexism,
     homophobia) influence individual
    Individuals actively interact with social context
     and structure. This produces a reciprocal
     influence between families/individuals and
     social context via socially constructed
     meaning systems.
    Social structures change and this change
     influences individuals and relationships.
    There is an interplay of micro- and macro-
     levels of development.
                                       Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
    Five Specific Points (cont.):
 Research is dynamic, focusing on both
  process and change: they are a dialectic.
 It is important to consider diversity.
 Research should be multi-disciplinary.

                               Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
 Historical Origins and Research
 The Human Development Tradition:
  explicitly studied family influence on
  individual development
 Life Span Developmental Psychology:
  emphasizes individual development and
 Family Development Theory: Suggested
  Three Levels of Analysis
    Individual-psychological.
    Interactional-associational.
    Social-institutional.
 Sociology of Age Stratification:
  macrosocial perspective focusing on the
  influence of age.

                                    Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
  Historical Origins and Research
         Traditions (cont.)
 Social-Historical Studies of the Family:
    Emphasizes changing social nature of
     individual time and family time within changing
     historical context.
    Transitions are imbedded in history: broad
     change influences families which, in turn,
     reciprocally influences society.
 The Life Course Perspective -- A New

                                     Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
Assumptions and Central Concepts
        (see Table 19-2).
 The “Multiple Time Clocks” Assumption
    Ontogenetic time and ontogenetic events
    Historical time and historical events
 The Social Ecology Assumption
    Social structural context
    Social meanings
    Cultural contexts
    The interplay of macro-micro levels of analysis
 The Diachronic Assumption
    Homeostasis and adaptation
    Interactions of age, period, and cohort effects
    Feedback Over Time among Structures and
     stages of development
 The Heterogeneity Assumption
    Diversity and differences
    Aging diversity
    Structural diversity

                                      Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
                  Table 19-2
                  Central            General
Assumptions       Concepts           Propositions
A. Temporal A-1   Individual   P-1   The behavior of
   context:       time and           individuals is in
   multiple       events             part a function of
   time                              the individual’s
   clocks                            individual
   affect                            development level
   families.                         and of the
                                     development level
                                     of other family
            A-2   Generational P-2   The behavior of
                  time and           individuals in
                  generational       families is also a
                  events.            function of
                                     because of roles
                                     and expectations.
            A-3   Historical   P-3   The behavior of
                  time and           individuals in
                  historical         families, and
                  events             families as a unit,
                                     is influenced by
                                     historical period,
                                     geopolitical and
                                     economic events.
                                      Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
             Table 19-2 (cont.)
                   Central            General
Assumptions        Concepts           Propositions
B. Social     B-1 Social        P-4 Broader social
   ecology        structure and     structure
   of             location.         influences events
   families:                        that someone
   Socio-                           experiences with
   structural                       the passage of
   context.                         time in interaction
                                    with family
              B-2 Social         P-5 Events are given
                  construction       meaning through
                  of meaning.        social interaction.
              B-3 Cultural       P-6 Shared meanings
                  context.           both create and
                                     interpret life span,
                                     generational, and
                                     historical events.
              B-4 Interplay of P-7 Micro and macro
                  micro --         levels forces are
                  macro levels     reciprocal.
                  of analysis.

                                         Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
               Table 19-2 (cont.)

                    Central            General
Assumptions         Concepts           Propositions
C. Dia-        C-1 Homeostasis P-8 Behaviors are
   chronic         and             influenced by both
   Analysis        adaptability.   change
   of                              (adaptability) and
   families.                       continuity

               C-2 Interactions   P-9 Interactions of
                   of age,            age, period, and
                   period, and        cohort
                   cohort             phenomenon
                   effects.           influence
                                      behaviors of
                                      families and
                                      individuals over
               C-3 Feedback       P-   Change is not
                   among          10   linear.
                   and states
                   over time.

                                        Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
               Table 19-2 (cont.)

                    Central           General
Assumptions         Concepts          Propositions
D. Hetero-     D-1 Diversity and P-   Families respond
   geneity         difference.   11   to events in
   and                                diverse ways.

               D-2 Aging        P-    Over time,
                   diversity.   12    behaviors of
                                      families and
                                      members may
                                      become more
               D-3 Structural   P-    There is
                   diversity    13    considerable
                                      variation in family
                                      structure that is
                                      influenced by
                                      social structure.

                                       Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
Table 19-3: Changes in American
Family as the Result of Improved
        Life Expectancy
                               1900 1976
A child would experience the    24%              5%
death of a parent by age 15
Marriage would end in           67%           36%
widowhood before the 40th
A 15-year-old woman would       17%           55%
have 3 or 4 living
A middle-aged couple would      10%           47%
have at least 2 of their
parents still alive

                               Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson
  Figure 19-2: Influence of Intra-
  and Intergenerational Processes

    Problem    A
    Behavior        Relationships


                      Problem       C      Family
                      Behavior          Relationships

A: Intragenerational Hypothesis
A,B: Intergenerational Hypothesis
C: Life Course Development Hypothesis

                                        Dr. Ronald J. Werner-Wilson

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