Biography and Turning Points in Europe and America

Edited by Karla B. Hackstaff, Feiwel Kupferberg, and Catherine Négroni

Edited by Karla B. Hackstaff, Feiwel Kupferberg, and Catherine Négroni

Distributed for Policy Press at the University of Bristol

276 pages | 10 figures | 6 3/4 x 9 1/2 | © 2012
Cloth $110.00 ISBN: 9781847428608 Published September 2012 For sale in North and South America only

The contributors to this thoughtprovoking collection argue that the biographical concept of the “turning point” requires a deeper analysis of what distinguishes turning points from life transitions. This book, in turn, raises crucial questions about the application of turning points as a biographical research method. Utilizing broad empirical research by scholars from ten different countries, the collection provides a number of contexts for thinking about turning points under both global and local forces. Focusing on how biographical meaning is made, it offers a strong theoretical base for social scientists in a variety of fields.

Joanna Bornat, The Open University
“This is a timely and highly original collection of work which pushes boundaries methodologically and theoretically engaging directly with debates amongst practitioners and policy makers.”
Symbolic Interaction
“This captivating sociological collection describes the broad experiential research by scholars from ten different countries . . . focusing on the various contexts for thinking about turning points under both international and national forces.”
Notes on contributors
Introduction: Advancing the dialogue on turning points
      Karla B. Hackstaff

1. Unpacking biographical narratives: investigating stories of artistic careers in Northern Jutland, Denmark
      Feiwel Kupferberg
2. Turning points in the life course: a narrative concept in professional bifurcations
      Catherine Négroni
3. Conjugal separation and immigration in the life course of immigrant single mothers in Québec
      Ana Gherghel and Marie-Chrisitne Saint-Jacques
4. Migration biography and ethnic identity: on the discontinuity of biographical experience and how turning points affect the ethnicisation of biography
      Thea D. Boldt
5. Biographical structuring through a critical life event: parental loss during childhood
      Gerhard Jost
6. Decisive turning points in life trajectories of violence among young men in the barrios of Caracas: the initiation and biographical reconversion to non-violent lifestyles
      Verónica Zubillaga
7. The turning points of the single life course in Budapest, Hungary
      Ágnes Sántha
8. Complicating actions and complicated lives: raising questions about narrative theory through an exploration of lesbian lives
      Nicki Ward
9. Religious conversion as a biographical turn/ing: the case of Orthodox believers in contemporary Russia
      Liana Ipatova
10. Conclusion: theorising turning points and decoding narratives
      Feiwel Kupferberg

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