The article concisely presents the conceptual framework and terminology of life course sociology as well as one of the basic quantitative methods applied in this field, event history analysis. This method permits analyzing the dynamics in the life course of individuals at various life transition points connected with their participation in various spheres of public life (education, work, family life, etc.). One of the strong points of the method is the possibility it offers of incorporating various forms of activeness displayed by individuals making life transitions, and the possibility of assessing the impact of activeness on these transitions. The use of event analysis is illustrated in the article through the results of a study of young people leaving the parental home in Bulgaria.
This paper contributes to the analysis of fertility differentials between migrants and the native-born by examining the transition to first child using event history analysis. We looked for a tool that could link anthropological investigation with the representativeness of a statistical study. The meeting point is anthropological demography that permits the merging of different methods and approaches. We use event history as quantitative translation of the life course approach. The data examined are the first-wave Italian Families and Social Subjects Survey conducted in 2003 and the first-wave Russian Gender and Generations Survey conducted in 2004. The datasets are examined separately and the results are contrasted. An immigrant is or this study defined as a person born outside of the country at interest. The objective of the study is twofold: First we seek to determine whether differences exist in the decision and timing of childbearing between native and foreign-born women in Italy and in Russia. Second we aim to compare the experiences of immigrants in the two countries, to determine whether there may be any commonalities inherent to the immigrant populations, despite moving into widely different contexts. This leads us to the following two conclusions: First, the similarities in the risk profiles of our immigrants into vastly different country contexts is more suggestive of immigrants being a distinct group rather than assimilating or conforming to the native fertility patterns. Second, our results do not seem to confirm the presence of either disruption or family formation being key events associated with migration.