Life Course In Canada

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Introduction The life course in Canada has changed dramatically over the past several decades – where women once stayed at home, they now gain high degrees of education and employment; where families were once large, they are now steadily declining in size (Statistics Canada 2015; McDaniel 2001, Table 1). However, every individual’s life course is unique as it is affected and shaped by the society that they grow up in and the social, economic and political occurrences over their life course (Pampel & Peters 1995, pp.165; Elder 1999, pp.304; Mannheim 1952, pp.297). In an effort to better understand the individuality of the life course, affected by larger macro processes of society, this paper will analyse the life course of the respondent,…show more content…
Jennifer was born in 1953, after World War II as part of the first wave of baby boomers, making her 62 years old today (McDaniel 2001, Table 1). She remains married, with two children, to her husband of 27 years and continues to work. Her life will be analysed using applicable theories including, but not exclusively: the standardization of the life course, as proposed by Shanahan; the normative order of life events; Mannheim’s idea of the formative period; and theories on parental income, education and social location (Mannheim 1952, pp.300; Shanahan 2000, pp.667-668; Corak 2000, pp.140; De Broucker & Lavallee 2000, pp.144; Frederick & Boyd 2000, pp. 136). Some of the key aspects of Jennifer’s life that will be focused on are: female employment patterns, educational attainment – and its affect on employment success –, impact of family changes and…show more content…
Jennifer’s parents moved from Italy to Canada prior to her birth and her father spent many years working two jobs in order to make ends meet. He eventually got a construction job at a company called John Mansville and subsequently successfully ran his own construction business for several years. In order for her father to make more money and improve his employment situation, the family moved several times around the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) when she was very young. Miles Corak’s study illustrates that each time a child moves houses, their level of income later in life decreases by about $1,000 (Corak 2000, pp.140). However, Jennifer now works in a managerial position where it is difficult to believe she was, in any way, affected by the moving of houses when she was young. Perhaps the reason that her life does not fit Corak’s study is because she was so young, about 1 year old, when her family made the moves between houses (Corak 2000, pp.140). Where Jennifer’s life does exemplify Corak’s study is in terms of patterns in father’s employment where the study finds that fathers who successfully made money while self-employed, had children who achieved considerably greater incomes later in their life (Corak 2000, pp.139). Jennifer’s father, indeed, was most successful once he began his own company and, just as Corak’s study suggests, Jennifer’s income now places her in the
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