The aim of this article is to present a specific method for the study of the life-course, which focuses on life-course trajectories as a whole through the use of sequence analysis. In the first part, two approaches for the quantitative analysis of the life-course are distinguished: an event-oriented perspective and a trajectory-based (holistic) perspective. The holistic perspective is based on sequence analysis and more specifically on optimal matching. The trajectory-based perspective does not focus on single life events, but on whole sequences of events. In the second part, using the Czech wave of the ISSP 2002 dataset, which includes partnership and family histories, this article presents several examples of the use of sequence analysis of family trajectories. This study shows that sequence analysis can help identify patterns associated with typical and distinctive life-course trajectories
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.