Interpretive Reproduction

Developed by the sociologist of childhood William Corsaro within the context of his lifelong study of early childhood peer activity, the theory of interpretive reproduction captures the creative aspects of children’s participation in society. According to the theory of interpretive reproduction, children do not merely internalize society and culture; instead, they actively contribute to cultural production and change through their participation in a range of peer cultures. Corsaro visually presents the notion of interpretive reproduction through the orb web model (Figure 1). The key to the model is that children progress through a series of embedded peer cultures (preschool, preadolescent, adolescent, and finally adult), which are experienced within and across a range of social institutions. While the family represents the central institution for children, as ...

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