Eric D. Widmer

Widmer, E.D., Spini, D. (2017). Misleading Norms and Vulnerability in the Life Course: Definition and Illustrations. Research in Human Development . Vol. 14(1). pp. 52-67.

This review paper investigates the potentially misleading effect of some social norms on life trajectories. Conformity to some gender norms related to the division of paid and family work becomes counterproductive for individuals who experience turning points in their life along the way. We present various empirical results mainly drawn from the Swiss National Centre of Competence in Research LIVES where conformity to social norms has detrimental effects on life trajectories. We conclude by stressing that the sensitizing concept of misleading norms contributes to a better understanding of vulnerability across the life course.

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