CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

In this article, I will study how parents shape their offsprings’ habits and preferences. The work is based on interviews with 30 seventh graders, of both sexes and coming from varied social backgrounds. Through an analy­sis of how teenagers end up having such or such type of leisure activities and getting involved in these activi­ties, I bring out three forms of parental transmission. On the one hand, this transmission takes shape when children adopt their parents’ cultural practices and categories of judgements through the model parents offer, but also through the repetition of cultural practices shared between parents and children. Thus, judgements and practices are identically reproduced through transmission. On the other hand, if children have cultural practices that differ from their parents’ practices, it appears that these cultural practices are acknowledged and encouraged by parents who consider these as appropriate for teenagers. Transmission thus consists in variations in legacy that the notion “failed socialization” unsuccessfully describes. Teenagers’ cultu­ral practices are influenced by their parents’ preference, by what they think corresponds to their teenagers’ needs, by the way they socialize. What parents transmit to their children seems to be unequally valued from an academic point of view. So, transmission of cultural practices may potentially contribute to social reproduction.


  • cultural habits
  • youth
  • social reproduction
  • transmission
  • legacy
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