The modern life cycle is normally seen as becoming more standardized and tightly scheduled according to certain age norms. Recent research on the American and British course suggests that the "chronologization" thesis is oversimplified because it ignores social and cultural definitions of aging, discounts diversity by class, ethnic group, and gender, and, furthermore, does not take into account the recent tendency toward a greater fluidity in the definition of age. It also overlooks the role of culture, and especially ritual, in defining age in recent as well as more distant periods. Looked at in an anthropologically informed manner, the history of the life cycle since 1600 is shown to have developed in three overlapping periods: Early Modern (1600-1850), Modern (1850-1950), and Contemporary (1950 to the Present).
How to Cite
Gillis, J. R., (1987) “The Case against Chronologization”, Ethnologia Europaea 17(2), 97–106. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1373