Period 2 – Socialization in Life Course


Stages from birth to death are called the life course.Your social location makes a difference, social class, race ethnicity, and gender maps out distinctive worlds of experience.Typical life differs from males to females, rich to poor etc.


(Ages ranging from birth to age 12)

Experiences in our childhood could all be different depending on our surroundings and the time period we live in. Considering, your childhood would be very different if you were to have grown up in the middle ages rather than present time.Historian Philippe Aries (1965) stated that adults viewed children as miniature adults.In the middle ages it was quite common for children to work alongside adults, where as today the norm is for children to just play and or just have fun. In earlier centuries, parents and teachers also considered it their moral duty to terrorize children, to keep them in line. Industrialization transformed the way we perceive children. They are now seen as innocent and tender, also they have the leisure to attend school.


(Ages 13-17)

Adolescence is not a natural age division, it is a social invention. In earlier centuries people just moved from childhood into young adulthood, with no middle transition.During the Industrial revolution, teenagers were finally able to be outside of the workforce right as education was key to success.This in turn created a gap between childhood and young adulthood. In early 1900’s the term adolescence was coined for this new stage, it now has became extremely well known.


(Ages 18-29)

Historian Kenneth Keniston suggest that during this period industrialized societies are adding a period of prolonged youth to the life course, when people postpone adult responsibilities. For most people the end of high school begins the period when freedom is heightened and the responsibility for taking care of oneself now in motion. These people are “”neither psychological adolescents or sociological adults” (Keniston 1971). This period is usually when young adults start to take on adult responsibilities and realize that they have to take full responsibility for their lives.



(Ages 30-49)

In this stage most people have set goals and are sure of who they are in life. They can usually handle major disappointments like a divorce, or getting fired. For women, this period of time is when they have to do it all. For example, taking care of a child all day, taking children to school and sports, making dinner, being a good wife, and also some women go to work. Taking all of these responsibilities head on can cause stress and a realization that their husbands are too masculine for housework and childcare.


(Ages 50-65)

This stage is when health and mortality begin to set in. As their parents are becoming ill and die, it causes adults to reevaluate their lives, how far they’ve come and what they have accomplished. Most adults catch themselves care for their own children and their aging parents. This generation is sometimes called the “sandwich generation.” But this stage isn’t always stressful; some enjoy relaxing in a big home, going on exotic vacations, and enjoy security. New cars house improvements are also affordable middle aged homeowners.



(Ages ranging in the mid 60’s)

The early older years occur in the mid 60’s. This is very recent for agricultural societies. When people died at an earlier age, this time period was to be believed to be at the 40’s. With improved nutrition and better health care, people have been living much longer.


(Begins at the age of 75+)

The later older years begins its mark at ones 75th birthday. This stage is marked with illness and fragility.  For everyone, this stage ends with death. For some, the physical decline is slow, and a rare few live to see their 100th birthday. While some people see this birthday, they are not healthy enough to realize what is going on.


The sociological importance of the life course is that it does not merely represent biology, things that naturally occur during our lifetime. Rather, social factors influence our life course. Also important is our social location. This relates to our gender and where we live throughout our life. (C. Wright Mills)


1.      Childhood (birth – age 12)                 A.  Mark begins at ones 75th birthday

2.      Adolescence (13-17)                           B. Period has changed due to better health care

3.       Young Adulthood (18-29)                  C. ”neither psychological adolescents or sociological adults”

4.      Early Middle Years (30-49)                 D.  When health and mortality settle in.

5.      Later Middle Years (50-65)                E. Ready to undertake major disappointments

6.      Early Older Years (65- and on)           F. Experiences in this age vary greatly among others.

7.      Later Older Years                                  G. The gap in-between childhood and young adulthood


Childhood Childhood   is the age span ranging from birth to adolescence.[1]   In developmental psychology,   childhood is divided up into the developmental stages of toddlerhood   (learning to walk), early   childhood (play age), middle childhood (school   age), and adolescence (puberty through post-puberty). This is the time when children are dependent on their   parents and when most of the learning is done.
Adolescence Adolescence   (from Latin:   adolescere meaning “to grow up”)[1]   is a transitional stage of physical and psychological human development   generally occurring between puberty   and legal adulthood   (age of majority).[1][2][3]   The period of adolescence is most closely associated with the teenage years,[3][4][5][6]   although its physical, psychological and cultural expressions can begin   earlier and end later. A lot of learning is done in this stage. It can also be   considered the most care free stage, also a lot of schooling is done here.
Young adulthood A young/prime adult, according   to Erik Erikson‘s   stages of human   development, is generally a person aging from 20   to 40, whereas an adolescent   is a person aging from 13 to 19,[1][2]   although definitions and opinions vary. The young adult   stage in human development precedes middle   adulthood. This is when a person feels much more freedom, when a   person goes off to college and begins to make decisions more for  themselves.
Middle years The time in a persons life that is usually when someone is   in their thirties, when someone is working and making a sufficient living.
Early middle years This is typically someone in their late twenties. They are   considered adults but still feel in the young adulthood stage. More responsibility comes into play in this stage, when   someone buys a house and starts doing taxes.
Later middle years This stage is typically someone in their 40’s and 50’s.   This is when someone is almost done with their working career and their   children are getting older. This is the time period when someone becomes more settled   in and finds spouses and have kids.
Early older years This would be the age of the 60’s. Many people at this age   are retired and are staying at home with their spouse. Somebody that is old, but not too old. Disease might come   into play here and people stop working,
Later older years This age can be considered 75+. This stage of life is full   of weakness and sickness. Very few people live to see their 100th   birthday. The final stage of life, full of disease. Many people will   not be able to live alone.

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