A widely used metaphor denoting the passage of an individual through the successive stages of life, from birth to death through childhood, adolescence , adult life, and old age, and implying a return to infancy in old age. The term is broadly synonymous with those of life-course and life-stages.
In some societies, these stages are collectively defined by membership of an age-grade or age-set . In Western societies, certain transition points, such as the age of consent to sexual intercourse, the age of legal majority, or the age when education ceases to be compulsory, are defined and regulated by law, but the stages of the life-cycle are otherwise loosely structured and allow a degree of personal choice, for example in the age of marriage. For this reason, research analyses rarely use age alone to define stages in the life-cycle, the more common approach being to use marital status and the presence of children in full-time education, or under school-leaving age, who live with the respondent. Among men, the category of prime-age males is often separately identified, especially in labour-market analyses: these are men in the prime of life, usually defined as aged 25 to 55 years (sometimes 25 to 50 years), when employment levels are at their highest. Demographic analysts identify fewer life-cycle groups than would sociologists: for them the two dependent groups are children under 15 years and old people aged 65 (or 60) and over, who are supported financially and otherwise by the population of working age or active population.
Life-cycle stage is a variable often used in analyses of employment patterns, housing preferences and needs, patterns of social relationships in the community and the extended family, studies of poverty, and migration patterns. However, although still widely employed, it has dropped out of favour in modern socio-demographic literature because of its normative resonances. See also life-event.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Life cycle — refers to: * Biological life cycle ** Honey bee life cycle * Life cycle of a nation * New product development * Product life cycle management * LIFECYCLE Fundraising * Software life cycle * Adobe LifeCycle …   Wikipedia

  • life cycle — life cycles 1) N COUNT: usu with poss The life cycle of an animal or plant is the series of changes and developments that it passes through from the beginning of its life until its death. The dormant period is another stage in the life cycle of… …   English dictionary

  • life cycle — The term is first recorded in 1873 in its biological meaning ‘the series of changes in the life of an organism’, and this is the only meaning given in the current edition (2006) of the Concise Oxford Dictionary. During the course of the 20c,… …   Modern English usage

  • life cycle — n 1) the series of stages in form and functional activity through which an organism passes between successive recurrences of a specified primary stage 2) LIFE HISTORY (1a) * * * the successive events in the life history of an organism, such as… …   Medical dictionary

  • life cycle — life .cycle n all the different levels of development that an animal or plant goes through during its life …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • life cycle — life ,cycle noun count 1. ) the series of changes that happen to an animal or plant during its life 2. ) the length of time that something lasts or remains useful …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • life cycle — ► NOUN ▪ the series of changes in the life of an organism including reproduction …   English terms dictionary

  • life cycle — life cycle. См. жизненный цикл. (Источник: «Англо русский толковый словарь генетических терминов». Арефьев В.А., Лисовенко Л.А., Москва: Изд во ВНИРО, 1995 г.) …   Молекулярная биология и генетика. Толковый словарь.

  • life cycle — n. 1. the series of developmental changes in form undergone by a particular type of organism from its earliest stage to the recurrence of the same stage in the next generation 2. any series of changes like this …   English World dictionary

  • life cycle — 1. Biol. the continuous sequence of changes undergone by an organism from one primary form, as a gamete, to the development of the same form again. 2. a series of stages, as childhood and middle age, that characterize the course of existence of… …   Universalium

  • life cycle — The lifetime of a product or business, from its creation to its demise or transformation. Bloomberg Financial Dictionary * * * life cycle UK US (also lifecycle) noun [C, usually singular] MARKETING, PRODUCTION ► the series of changes that a… …   Financial and business terms

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”