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Reproduction Theory

  • By: Sheri C. Hardee
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Reproduction theory was developed by Herbert Gintis in 1972 in his critique of Ivan Illich and was expanded by Gintis and Samuel Bowles in their seminal text Schooling in Capitalist America published in 1976. Although reproduction theory (also called correspondence theory) now applies to the social and cultural fields, Bowles and Gintis first approached this theory through the lenses of capitalism and the economy. Their work exerted great impact on the field of curriculum studies and provided curriculum theorists with a foundation from which to critique and analyze schools and cultural reproduction. These ideas also reach further back, pulling from the theories of Karl Marx in The German Ideology. In what follows, this entry defines reproduction theory in its earliest form, highlights the important contributions ...

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