Socio-economic reproduction

Authored by: Ken Roberts

Routledge Handbook of Youth and Young Adulthood

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  October  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138804357
eBook ISBN: 9781315753058
Adobe ISBN: 9781317619895

10.4324/9781315753058.ch2

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Abstract

Reproduction theories were introduced to youth studies in the 1970s by Marxist sociologists who were challenging (explicitly or implicitly) functionalist accounts of social role allocation and socialisation. Previously these processes had been regarded as achieving the best possible compromises between the capabilities of individuals and the needs of society, save for a tendency for individuals to stick close to their social class origins which, it was assumed, would be corrected by meritocratic educational reforms. Reproduction theorists have continued to insist that the tendency to ‘stick’ is not an aberration but the norm to which it is exceptions (where social mobility occurs) that require a special explanation.

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