Period 7 – Socialization in Life Course


  • Life Course is the stages of our life as we go from birth to death
  • Your social location makes a difference, social class, race ethnicity, and gender maps out distinctive worlds of experience.

Childhood (Birth to age 12)

When childhood was studied by Philippe Aries in 1965 (the middle Ages), he observed that the children painted in European paintings were always dressed in adult clothing. They viewed children as miniature adults, and put them to work at young ages. Girls stayed at home till they married and boys usually left the house to learn a trade as young as the age of seven. Parents and teachers felt it was a good thing to terrorize the children by locking them into dark closets, and frightening them with gruesome bed time stories, in the middle ages.

Adolescence (ages 13 to 17)

In the 1900’s Adolescence was coined (by Society) to determine the stage in life between childhood and adulthood. Prior to this term most people simply moved from childhood into young adulthood. But in the industrial revolution, millions of teenagers left the work force. This led to the importance of education in adolescence’s life. The adolescence stage in a child’s life is a time for a person to “find” their identity. Kids in this stage come up with their own subcultures like hairstyles, language, gestures, and music.

Young Adulthood (ages 18 to 29)

Historian Kennith Keniston suggest that societies are adding periods of prolonged youth to their life course, in which people are postpone adult responsibilities past adolescence. At the end of high school, millions of people are experiencing continued freedom from the need to support oneself. during the Young Adult stage People soon ease into the adult responsibilities, like finish school maintain a full time job, engage in courtship rituals, and get married.

The Middle Years (ages 30 to 65)

The Early Middle Years (ages 30 to 49)

This is the time when people are surer of their goals in life. There are pressures in time period like divorce, or being fired from a job. For women, this is the period when they have to “do it all”. For example, the take care of the kids, laundry, driving kids to school and other activates, and being a good wife. All in all adjustments continue in all phases of life.

The Later Middle Years (ages 50 to 65)

Health and morality begin to set in during the later middle years. They reevaluate their life as the watch their parents become ill, frail, and die. They also look back on what they have accomplished and look at how far they have come so far as a parent and adult. People in this stage feel most comfortable with job security and have the highest standard of living in their life. They normally move into a bigger house, get newer cars, and go on more exotic vacations. The children are grown and have firmly planted themselves and started their life.

The Older Years (ages 65 and On)

The Eary Old Years

In the mid-60’s of an adult’s life, the old year’s being. When people died earlier the old years was thought to be around 40 years old. But now because of health awareness and improved nutrition, those with good health and medical care live longer. The health adults when around 65 are not experiencing old age but rather an extension of the middle years. Death becomes less abstract in this period of life, seeing friends and family die. We begin to see death as a possibility now.

The Late Old Years

There is no exact age that one enters their late old years, for some it might be their 75th birthday. This stage in life is marked by frailty and illness; for all who reach this stage, the end is death. Few get to see their 100th birthday, but those who do are mentally alert and in good health.


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