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Social Reproduction

Social reproduction refers to the set of processes by which the classes in an unequal society tend to replicate their status from one generation to the next and to the way various social institutions such as education, politics, and the economy tend to ensure such replication. A large body of empirical data indicates that most children replicate the class status of their parents, despite the dominant American ideology of social mobility, whereby education is a means to movement in the class structure. Reproduction theorists typically focus on schools as a site that facilitates much of the intergenerational transmission of either privilege or disadvantage, depending on the class or group.

Social reproduction theorists are distinguished according to the mechanism by which they believe reproduction occurs. Reproduction ...

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