American Journal of Cultural Sociology

, Volume 5, Issue 1–2, pp 127–153 | Cite as

The unbalanced theoretical toolkit: Problems and partial solutions to studying culture and reproduction but not culture and mobility

  • Jessi StreibEmail author
Original Article


Many theories explain how culture is linked to class reproduction but few explain how culture is linked to class mobility. This article argues that this theoretical imbalance is problematic as it ignores key stratification processes. The article then develops three concepts that link culture to downward mobility and three concepts that link culture to upward mobility. These concepts offer initial steps toward understanding how cultural differences between the classes are associated with class mobility as well as class reproduction.


class culture mobility social reproduction theory 



The author would like to thank Elizabeth Armstrong, Jane Rochmes, Duke Sociology’s culture workshop, and the anonymous reviewers for their helpful feedback.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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