Introduction to sequence analysis for studying the life course

Seminar, 30 hours/M.A. level

How similar are family life courses of individuals from different generations? Are younger workers experiencing more unsecure employment trajectories compare to their parents? How does the birth of a child influence mothers’ pathways of labor market participation in the long run in different countries? The seminar will, first, consider how empirical research has addressed these questions using sequence analysis to study the life course. Sequence analysis is a powerful set of analytical tools originally developed in biology to analyze strings of DNA that was introduced in the late 1980s in the social sciences to analyze temporal processes. Second, basic techniques to apply sequence analysis will be introduced with hands-on examples on. How to compare sequences that represents individual life-courses, how to group sequences to identify the typical patterns in the population, how to effectively visualize life courses, how to relate individual characteristics to how life courses unfolded over time.