Peer Culture

William A. Corsaro

in Childhood Studies

ISBN: 9780199791231
Published online March 2012 | | DOI:
Peer Culture

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Most of the early work on peer culture focuses on adolescents, with a primary concern on outcomes (positive and negative) of experience with peers on individual development. Since the late 20th century, theoretical approaches to childhood and youth studies have viewed children and youth, and their peer cultures, as worthy of documentation and study in their own right rather than as simply an element of some other area of study, such as individual development, family–child relations, education processes, and so on. From this new perspective, peer culture is defined as a stable set of activities or routines, artifacts, values, and concerns that children and youth produce and share with peers. The concept of peer culture differs from that of peer group. Children and youth are members of peer groups (i.e., children and youth of relatively the same age, although the age range can vary), whereas children and youth collectively produce their peer cultures. Children and youth produce and participate in a series of peer cultures that are influenced by various social circumstances and settings (neighborhoods, schools, city streets, village compounds, and so on) that result from age grading and other mechanisms for placing together cohorts, or groups of children and youth, for extended periods of time.

Article.  10849 words. 

Subjects: Development Studies

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