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The Persistence of the Standardized Life Cycle

[journal article]

Elchardus, Mark; Smits, Wendy

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Abstract This article investigates to what degree the standardized life cycle has been replaced by an individualized life course, characterized by the absence of a strict sequence and timing of life's transitions. In order to measure the normative position of people, rather than the external conditions to which they are subject, the test is based on the ideal life course or life cycle as described by a purely random sample of 4666 inhabitants of Belgium, aged 18 to 36. The available evidence overwhelmingly points towards the persistence of a standardized ideal life cycle, characterized by a strict sequence and timing of the important transitions.
Classification Sociology
Free Keywords individualization; life cycle; open future; sequence; timing;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 303-326
Journal Time & Society, 15 (2006) 2-3
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)