Chapter

Turning points in the life course: a narrative concept in professional bifurcations

Catherine Négroni

in Biography and turning points in Europe and America

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781847428608
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307655 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.003.0003
Turning points in the life course: a narrative concept in professional bifurcations

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In this chapter, Négroni examines how the concept of "turning point" has been used in the literature: in the analysis of life-course changes including transitions and turning points; in the context of role changes and becoming an “ex”; in examination of religious conversions; as a narrative dimension; and finally, as closely related to the notion of “bifurcation.” This review enables Négroni to advance her argument that the concept of turning point is best understood as a narrative concept, which enables action via phases of latency and decision-making. This argument is evidenced by her analysis of interviewees in France who have experienced bifurcation in their professional lives. She shows how bifurcation is an important addition to turning points, and uses the concept of turning point to contribute to a theory of action.

Keywords: Turning point; transitions; life-course; bifurcation; theory of action; latency; professional occupations; France

Chapter.  9149 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social Research and Statistics

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