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Sequence Analysis for Social Sciences

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Course Information


This workshop is devoted to the use of ‘sequence analysis’ to study life trajectories, such as changes in peoples employment, housing, and family formation over-time. Sequence analysis covers a range of techniques; this workshop will focus on those techniques that help group people with similar life trajectories, and the generation of data visualisations to interpret life trajectories. The workshop is aimed at a social science audience, and will work through practical examples to introduce the theoretical concepts of sequence analysis. Basic techniques of sequence analysis using R will be covered; however, by providing some theoretical background, this will help users applying sequence analysis techniques using other software (i.e., STATA).

The course covers:

  • Different methods of managing longitudinal data to enable sequence analysis 
  • Production of descriptive statistics and visualisaitons of life trajectories
  • Methods of identifying and grouping people with ‘similar’ life trajectories

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Know what data can be used in sequence analysis and how it needs to be formatted
  • Describe and visualise life trajectories
  • Create and describe ‘typologies’ of people based on similar patterns of life trajectories

Course Code


Course Leader

Ian Thomas
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