SOC 43959 - How Did I Get Here and Where Am I Going?
Though sociologists are not fortune tellers, life course sociology has documented the human life course enough to reliably understand how and why people's lives are patterned in certain ways. This course seeks to understand how and why people change or remain the same throughout their lives. We will explore how lives are shaped by specific historical contexts, how individuals actively construct their life course within historical and social constraints, how our lives are intertwined (and how this shapes human action), and how the impact of life transitions on life trajectories is contingent on the timing of a particular change in a person's life. We will investigate patterns common in the different stages of our life course as well life course pathways related to family relationships, education, health and religion. Including all of these elements of life course sociology gives a fuller understanding of how individual lives are lived within our communities as well as global contexts, and also how lives are rooted in intersections of gender, class, race, sexual orientation and other statuses.