Understanding the Life Course: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives

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9780745640167: Understanding the Life Course: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives
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Understanding the Life Course provides a uniquely comprehensive guide to understanding the entire life course from an interdisciplinary perspective. Combining the important insights sociology and psychology have to bring to the study of the life course, the book presents the concept's theoretical underpinnings in an accessible style, supported by real-life examples.

What do reality TV shows such as Supernanny really tell us about child development? Are teenage rebellions and midlife crises written into our DNA? Does being a grandparent - or even a great-grandparent - equate to being old? This book encourages readers to think about these questions by highlighting the many different ways the life course can be interpreted, including themes of linearity and multi-directionality, continuity and discontinuity, and the interplay between nature and nurture, or genetics and culture. From birth and becoming a parent, to death and grieving for the loss of others, key research studies and theories are introduced, and their contemporary relevance and validity discussed. All stages of the life course are considered in conjunction with issues of social inequality (such as social class, race/ethnicity and gender) and critical examination of lay viewpoints.

The book's comprehensive coverage of the life course counters the limitations of working with a certain group or age category in isolation, and its interdisciplinary focus recognizes the centrality of working in and across multi-professional teams and organizations. It will be essential reading for students on vocational programmes in social work, the allied health professions, nursing and education, and will provide thought-provoking insight into the wider contexts of the life course for students of psychology and sociology.

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About the Author:

Lorraine Green is lecturer in social work at the University of Manchester.

Review:

'This is a most welcome book, written in a clear accessible style. It opens up some complex and challenging issues in ways that engage the reader and illuminate contemporary people-work.'
Community Care

'Learning and teaching about the human life course to student social workers in one module over one term has always seemed to me to be a tall order...However, having reviewed Lorraine Green's book, I can now confidently recommend this as an excellent place to start...Green's book is a rarity and a great achievement, providing the reader with a cogent account of the life course...Now, it is not only Green's students who can avail themselves of this knowledge; we all can.'
British Journal of Social Work

'Lorraine Green has produced an impressive and stimulating text. She rigorously shakes some of the lazy orthodoxies which can settle into our understandings of the human life course, yet the work remains accessible and relevant to both professionals and researchers who seek to understand this important domain.'
Sue White, Professor of Social Work, Lancaster University

'Ambitious, up-to-date and very readable. Drawing primarily upon sociological and psychological theory and research, Understanding the Life Course will be invaluable to students studying on a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses, particularly those on vocational and professional degrees in the broad health and welfare areas.'
Nigel Parton, NSPCC Professor in Applied Childhood Studies, University of Huddersfield

'Multi-disciplinary and theoretically informed, this book makes excellent use of examples and careful explanation to inform our understanding of the life course. Thought-provoking yet lively, clearly written and accessible, it makes a substantial contribution to the texts in this area.'
Serena Bufton, Principal Lecturer in Sociology, Sheffield Hallam University


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