© 2013

Negotiating the Life Course

Stability and Change in Life Pathways

  • Ann Evans
  • Janeen Baxter

Part of the Life Course Research and Social Policies book series (LCRS, volume 1)

About this book


Pathways through the life course have changed considerably in recent decades.  Many of our assumptions about leaving home, starting new relationships and having children have been turned upside down. It is now almost as common to have children prior to marriage as afterwards, and certainly much more common to live together before marrying than to marry without first living together. Women are more likely to remain in the labour force after having children and many families struggle with problems of work-family balance at some stage in their lives, particularly when they have young children. But how much has really changed? Is there really more diversity in how individuals transition through these life course stages, or just variations at the margin with most people following a standard work and family life course?


This volume makes use of rich longitudinal data from a unique Australian project to examine these issues. Drawing on broader theories of social change and demographic transitions in an international context, each chapter provides a detailed empirical assessment of the ways in which Australian adults negotiate their work and family lives. In doing so, the volume provides important insight into the ways in which recent demographic, social and economic changes both challenge and reproduce gender divisions.


Adult life course Birth cohort differences Cohabitation Declining fertility rates Declining marriages rates Demographic shifts Demographic transition Divorce Domestic labour Educational attainment Educational system Family change Family dissolution Family formation Globalization Leaving home Life course Life course transitions Longitudinal modelling Marital seperation Occupational achievements Paid and unpaid work Retirement Technological change Young adults

Editors and affiliations

  • Ann Evans
    • 1
  • Janeen Baxter
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian Demographic & Social, Research InstituteAustralian National UniversityCanberraAustralia
  2. 2.School of Social ScienceUniversity of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Negotiating the Life Course
  • Book Subtitle Stability and Change in Life Pathways
  • Editors Ann Evans
    Janeen Baxter
  • Series Title Life Course Research and Social Policies
  • Series Abbreviated Title Life Course Research,Social Policies
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. 2013
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law Social Sciences (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-90-481-8911-3
  • Softcover ISBN 978-94-007-9700-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-90-481-8912-0
  • Series ISSN 2211-7776
  • Series E-ISSN 2211-7784
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages VI, 234
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Sociology, general
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


From the reviews:

“Negotiating the Life Course is an edited volume by Ann Evans and Janeen Baxter that focuses on the life trajectories of Australian men and women. … provides an elaborate compendium that recognizes the closely intertwined relationship between paid work and family in shaping the life course and succeeds in illustrating the driving forces behind life course changes in Australia. In this sense, this volume is a valuable resource for any scholar interested in comparative life-course research and in the Australian case in particular.” (Christian Schmitt, European Journal of Population, Vol. 29, 2013)