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ERIC Number: ED163245
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978-Sep-6
Pages: 27
Abstractor: N/A
The Adult Life Spiral: A Critique of the Life Cycle Model.
Stein, Peter; Etzkowitz, Henry
We can identify and describe alternate paths of adulthood utilizing data from interviews with single adults. Our review of major models used in adulthood studies suggests that a developmental model, such as Daniel Levinson's life cycle model, is too tied to the notion of the imminent unfolding of the life course. The age-stratification theory recognizes role reproduction required by social structure, but never questions the locus of reproductive power. Finally, the socialization theory grants individuals some interactive freedom, but still overemphasizes socialization of the individual into existing roles. We propose a life spiral model, which involves the ordering of roles in various sequences, a multiplicity of institutionalized/emerging roles, and varying durations that these roles are enacted. A constant is the necessity for expressing human needs, such as intimacy, meaningful work, avocational activities, and social interaction. We re-analyzed data from a sample of sixty predominantly professional women and men, ages twenty-five to forty-five. The sample did not follow a traditional path to adulthood; their life courses involved many nontraditional experiences. We suggest that our society contains alternate paths through adulthood which could best be explained by a life spiral model. (CSS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A