TitleThe Significance of Relationality in “Doing Transitions”
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSettersten, RA, Stauber, B, Walther, A
Book TitleDoing Transitions in the Life Course: Processes and Practices
Pagination235 - 252
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
ISBN Number978-3-031-13512-5

It is common to interpret transitions as individual experiences that are largely the result of personal choices and behaviors or that are being worked out through individual processes. A foundational tenet of a Doing Transitions framework is that transitions are shaped and produced through social practices and are therefore not individual but relational – constantly co-produced or shared with, conditioned by, or otherwise involving multiple others. As such, a Doing Transitions framework makes visible the ways in which social interactions and processes create or reify individual and group differences, including how transition processes and outcomes are entangled in dynamics of power and empowerment, inequalities, politics and the welfare state. Instead of being seen as fixed entities, transitions are viewed as processual, dynamic, situated, and interwoven. This chapter makes an innovative contribution to the literature by systematizing this shift in observing and analyzing transitions. It recalls some core aspects of the theoretical turn offered by relational approaches and, against this backdrop, offers five distinct patterns of relationality and draws upon chapters of this book to illustrate how the science and practice of transitions can be advanced by leveraging these patterns of relationality.