Practicing at Home: Computers, Pianos, and Cultural Capital

Jan 01, 2008 | by
  • Description

Part of the Volume on Digital Young, Innovation, and the Unexpected Bourdieu focused attention on the role of education and the influence of status distinctions on the selection and valorization of particular forms of cultural capital. Although Bourdieu did not write about digital media, he was a keen observer of status distinctions in education and how these translate into job markets. Through an extended analogy between learning the piano and learning the computer, I demonstrate Bourdieu's relevance for an expanded vision of digital literacy -- one that would forefront the material and social inequalities in U.S. domestic Internet access and in public education. High Tech High School, supported by the Gates Foundation, provides a case of why it is important to examine current digital pedagogy in terms of unarticulated and implicit models of entrepreneurial labor, both because these set up unrealistic expectations and because they can express corporate norms rather than critical pedagogy.