Life Course Perspective and Cohort Analysis

Shuici Wada, Takaji Ohkubo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The two topics concerned with Life Course Perspecive are discussed in the two parts: (1) a discussion from the view of data analysis and (2) an cohort analysis of the influences of war experience on life course. Life Course Perspective contains at least the two aspects of data analysis: (1) event history analysis and (2) cohort analysis. Event History Analysis, in which parametric approach occupies the major part, could be of use for Life Course Analysis when it is introduced into the perspecive of Cohort Analysis. Cohort Analysis aimes at comparing the variables in different cohorts and at identifying age effect, period effect, and cohort effect. The former aim would be most effectively attained when Cohort Analysis is applied based on a general comparative method, and the latter when cohort effect is to be interpreted not as a linear effect, but a nonlinear effect. The Second World War caused a great deal of discontinuity to Japanese social structure. This discontinuity was reflected as turning points in Japanese life course. Paticularly members of 1920-24 cohort synchronized their turning points with the shift of Japanese society in 1940s. In many cases, turning points that related to the experience of War, started with the deprivation of an existing life structure, ended by the construction of a new one. In a few cases, turning points meant the escape from an existing life structure to new one. The War was the origin or a promotion factor of turning points.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-87
Number of pages27
JournalSociological Theory and Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1991 Dec
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohort Analysis
  • Event History Analysis
  • Experience of War
  • Life Course
  • Turning Points

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Life Course Perspective and Cohort Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this