Resistance theory draws on an understanding of the complexities of culture to define the relationship between schools and the dominant society. It gained attention in the educational literature of curriculum studies during the 1980s, largely as an outgrowth of theories of cultural reproduction that preceded it. Resistance theory expanded social analyses of schools as sites where dominant ideas, values, norms, and practices reflective of the social division of labor in capitalist society were transmitted to youth through the curriculum and the organization of learning. Questions about how social class mediated learning and social group formations within schools were of central concern. In resistance theory, schools were considered social sites that structured the experience of both dominant and subordinate groups and that served as contested ...

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