Lifelines: A Review of Content and Context


  • Brian de Vries


Lifelines, linear and episodic representations of lives from birth to death, have enjoyed some empirical attention; they represent an integration of an event-based perspective with life course narratives.  A predominant focus of the existing research has been on the number and distribution of events across the lifeline, with interesting gender, age-cohort, and temporal differences.  A secondary focus has examined the nature of events with event types ranging from the unique and singular to the more common and generalized; positive events predominate, again varying by temporal location and age-cohort identification.  The context created by these events has received somewhat lesser attention, but such examinations begin to underscore the richness and complexity of lifeline research. Future work may expand on the contexts of and created by lifelines in addressing some of the limitations of this approach.






Special Section: Perspectives on Reminiscence and Life Review