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Encore AdulthoodBoomers on the Edge of Risk, Renewal, and Purpose$
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Phyllis Moen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199357277

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199357277.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 May 2021

Outdated Career and Life-Course Templates

Outdated Career and Life-Course Templates

(p.23) 2 Outdated Career and Life-Course Templates
Encore Adulthood

Phyllis Moen

Oxford University Press

This chapter defines concepts key to the book’s argument: life course, institutions, and careers. The life course serves as a lynchpin between individual and family biographies, gender, organizational careers, public policy, and social change. Institutions are taken-for-granted schema and logics embedded in language, customs, and a body of norms or laws. Assumptions about careers remain based on the career mystique of continuous hard work and commitment as the path to both security and success, but that is an out-of-date model given the uncertainties and risks associated with a global economy, automation, outsourcing, offshoring, and restructuring. Boomers’ and Millennials’ contemporary improvisations are driving the individualization of the twenty-first-century life course—expanding, rebranding, jump-starting, delaying, or blurring the boundaries around once-lockstep timetables of schooling, work, careers, retirement. The chapter concludes by describing other related concepts: age (along with gender), cohort, and historical period.

Keywords:   life course, careers, institutions, logics, time shifting, leaning out, cohort, age, historical period, individualization

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