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Connecting Life Span Development with the Sociology of the Life Course: A New Direction

Gilleard, C; Higgs, P; (2015) Connecting Life Span Development with the Sociology of the Life Course: A New Direction. Sociology , 50 (2) pp. 301-315. 10.1177/0038038515577906. Green open access

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Abstract

The life course has become a topic of growing interest within the social sciences. Attempts to link this sub-discipline with life span developmental psychology have been called for but with little sign of success. In this paper, we seek to address three interlinked issues concerning the potential for a more productive interchange between life course sociology and life span psychology. The first is to try to account for the failure of these two sub-disciplines to achieve any deepening engagement with each other, despite the long-expressed desirability of that goal; the second is to draw attention to the scope for enriching the sociology of the life course through Erik Erikson’s model of life span development; and the last is the potential for linking Eriksonian theory with current debates within mainstream sociology about the processes involved in ‘individualisation’ and ‘self-reflexivity’ as an alternative entry point to bring together these two fields of work.

Type: Article
Title: Connecting Life Span Development with the Sociology of the Life Course: A New Direction
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0038038515577906
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0038038515577906
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (http://www.uk.sagepub.com/aboutus/openaccess.htm).
Keywords: Erik Erikson, Identity, Life course sociology, Life span psychology, Reflexivity
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1469959
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