Conference Paper

TIME, HUMAN AGENCY, AND SOCIAL-CHANGE - PERSPECTIVES ON THE LIFE-COURSE

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Abstract

The life course has emerged over the past 30 years as a major research paradigm. Distinctive themes include the relation between human lives and a changing society, the timing of lives, linked or interdependent lives, and human agency. Two lines of research converged in the formation of this paradigm during the 1960s; one was associated with an older ''social relationship'' tradition that featured intergenerational studies, and the other with more contemporary thinking about age. The emergence of a life course paradigm has been coupled with a notable decline in socialization as a research framework and with its incorporation by other theories. Also, the field has seen an expanding interest in how social change alters people's lives, an enduring perspective of sociological social psychology.

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... According to the life-course paradigm, individuals are embedded in social relationships where lives are inevitably interdependent (Elder Jr 1998). Such linked lives provide both opportunities and misfortunes that become intergenerational when considering parents and children across adjacent generations (Elder Jr 2001). Although there is a considerable amount of research categorized under the umbrella term "intergenerational," there is a growing consensus regarding the necessary conditions for sufficiency in IG studies, including the need to observe a parent and their offspring during the same developmental stage (Cairns et al. 1998;Serbin and Karp 2004;Thornberry 2009;Thornberry 2016). ...
... More specifically, examining both maternal and paternal marijuana use, we assessed whether parental use during the life course of the child affects the child's substance use beyond that imposed by the father's own history of substance use during his adolescence. In doing so, we incorporated the life course principle of timing of a risk factor (Elder Jr 2001) and examined whether the impact of paternal and maternal marijuana use varies by when it occurs during the life of the child. ...
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Methods for measuring outcomes suitable for economic evaluations of health and care interventions have primarily focused on adults. The validity of such methods for children and young people is questionable in areas including the outcome domains measured and how they are measured and valued, with most existing measures narrowly focusing on health. Novel methods for assessing benefits beyond health by focusing on a person's capability have also concentrated on adults to date. This paper aims to set out the rationale for capability measures in children and young people. It argues for the need to expand the evaluative space beyond health functioning towards broader capabilities, with children and young people playing an integral role in capability measure development. Drawing from existing literature, specific challenges related to the identification, measurement, and valuation of capabilities in children and young people are also discussed. Finally, the practical implications for conducting economic evaluation when measuring and valuing capabilities at different stages across the life‐course are illustrated. We develop an alternative framework based on conceiving capabilities as evolving across the life‐course. This framework may also be helpful in thinking about how to model health outcomes across the life‐course.
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Although research suggests that parental incarceration is associated with intergenerational continuity in crime, the mechanisms underlying this association remain unclear. Using multi-population structural equation modeling and data from the Toledo Adolescent Relationships Study (n = 1207), the current study explored specific experiences associated with labeling as well as internalizing labels, including experiencing corporal punishment during childhood, criminal arrests during adolescence, and identifying as a troublemaker/partier in young adulthood (measured with reflected appraisals), as potential mechanisms linking parental incarceration and young adults’ offending. We assessed whether this association differed by young adults’ level of emotional independence, that is, freedom from the need for parental approval. We found that parental incarceration indirectly influenced criminal activity particularly through identifying as a troublemaker/partier during young adulthood but only for those who sought parental approval. Overall, we concluded that high emotional independence, or not seeking parental approval, may be a protective factor that facilitates intergenerational discontinuities in crime.
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In order to understand the mechanisms that underlie involvement in white-collar crime on a personal level, 26 offenders convicted of a white-collar offence were interviewed. Building on theory and research from white-collar criminology, life-course criminology and moral psychology, findings show that a combination of criminogenic circumstances, weakened social bonds and adjusted moral ideas lead offenders down different pathways into white-collar offending. Although the process of crime involvement seems highly context-dependent in some instances, the interviews indicate that crime involvement is more commonly part of a long-running process, in which social bonds have weakened or moral ideas have been adjusted, which in turn influenced the decision to engage in the white-collar offence. Along with the limitations of the study and the directions for future research, the paper discusses the implications of the findings for white-collar crime research, in particular the complex role of morality in white-collar crime involvement.
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