A Definition of the Life Course Concept:

"the life course refers to the age-graded life patterns that are embedded in social institutions and subject to historical change.  These patterns are defined by trajectories, which extend across much of the life course, such as family and work, and by transitions, or short-term changes, such as leaving home, getting a full-time job, and marrying." (Elder, et al. p. 4)

The Role of Age in the Life Course

"The influence of a historical event on the life course depends on the stage at which an individual experiences the change." (Elder, et al. p. 14)