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Conceptualizing Turning Points in Socio-economic Trajectories - A multi-dimensional approach

Abstract : The concept of turning points is one of the most important concepts in life course studies. While many researchers agree that turning points comprise profound changes in individuals' life courses, conceptualizations of the phenomenon diverge consistently between studies. Three existing perspectives (what we call evaluative, formal, and case-holistic) place different emphases in their understanding of turning points. They have complementary strengths and weaknesses and lead to limited comparability of empirical turning point analyses. Based on a mixed-methods research project, this paper uses case analyses and survey information from the Socio-economic Panel (SOEP) to propose the combination of the three perspectives existing in the literature into a refined conceptualization of turning points. This contribution thereby provides an analytic tool that helps increasing comparability between analyses and thus contributes to continuous progress in our understanding of turning points. Specifically, we suggest turning points should be conceptualized along three dimensions: change in social status trajectory, subjective relevance, and spillover between life domains. We discuss these dimensions, possible indicators, and challenges of aggregation. Moreover, we discuss distinctiveness and adaptability of the concept.
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-02427614
Contributor : Ingrid Tucci <>
Submitted on : Friday, January 3, 2020 - 6:02:04 PM
Last modification on : Monday, January 20, 2020 - 4:35:36 PM
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  • HAL Id : halshs-02427614, version 1

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Nicolas Legewie, Ingrid Tucci. Conceptualizing Turning Points in Socio-economic Trajectories - A multi-dimensional approach. 2019. ⟨halshs-02427614⟩

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