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Lecture 13

SOCIOL 1A06 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Middle Ages

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Tina Fetner

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Sociology 1A06 Nov 9/09
Life Course
Sociology of the Life Course
Framework sociologists use to enact sociological situations
Aging over the lifetime as a social process
o Not only biological process
o It is also a social process
o Meanings of who you are, what you are allowed to do are dependent on how old you
are or how old other people think you are
Age itself is a social factor that organizes society and the social world
Refer to this as Age stratification
o Doesn`t necessarily operate in a linear way
o Old people don`t always have the most privileges
o We use age to understand and distribute privileges
o Not permanent
Changes in social roles over time as one age
Life course perspective sees social world through lens of age cohorts:
o Children
Dependence, lack of social privileges, group that needs to be taken care of and
are not capable of controlling their own lives
o Youth
Some responsibility, some privileges, some benefits, but not all
o Young Adult
o Middle Age (above young adulthood, job, family, economically independent, in charge
of yourself and perhaps others)
Have most privileges, most agency to control their lives, most freedom
o Elderly
New category between childhood and adulthood
Industrial era, age-graded education
o Impacts on all different aspects of social life
o First came child labour with industrial era
o Work moved outside of the household for most people
o People moved to cities, began to have gender division of labour where women became
in charge of domestic life at home
o Children in poor families continued to work (exploited as workers)
Extension of childhood well beyond puberty
o Kept kids in school longer than before
o Staying in school extends young people`s youth by keeping them out of the workforce
Youth extends beyond even age of majority: 18
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