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Taking one day at a time: temporal experiences in the context of unexpected life course transitions

Shirani, Fiona Jane and Henwood, Karen Linda ORCID: 2011. Taking one day at a time: temporal experiences in the context of unexpected life course transitions. Time & Society 20 (1) , pp. 49-68. 10.1177/0961463X10374906

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This article explores how unexpected life course events can potentially be experienced as problematic by challenging anticipated future trajectories. Using data from a qualitative longitudinal study of men interviewed about fatherhood, we consider four unanticipated events in the context of family formation which are variously experienced as propelling men forwards, imposing a pause, or regressing to a previous life course phase. In these situations time represents a threat to personal identity, challenging imagined futures and leading to altered behaviour in the present. These unexpected events appear to have a long-term impact on temporal awareness. By highlighting understandings of the future as a fundamental aspect of experience, we illustrate the importance of making time explicit as a tool for elucidating life course transitions.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: fatherhood; future; life course; time; unexpected transition
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 0961-463X
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 08 May 2023 05:06

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