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Class (Social-Economic) Research

  • By: Christine E. Sleeter
  • In: Encyclopedia of Curriculum Studies
  • Edited by: Craig Kridel
  • Subject:Cultural Studies (general), Curriculum & Content (general), Curriculum Studies

Class refers to economic position based on income, wealth, or a combination, as well as social expressions of class membership. More fundamentally, class refers to structural relationships based on control over wealth and its production. Research on class in curriculum mainly asks the extent to which curriculum enables children and youth to transcend their family's class or conversely, the extent to which it helps to reproduce the existing class structure, including the position of most individuals within that structure. Surprisingly, little research directly investigates these questions, although there is considerable theory about them, rooted in quite different perspectives. The primary question asked about class and curriculum from a functionalist perspective is what is the relationship between educational attainment, student family background, and class mobility. The ...

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