Abstract

Many studies have tested the validity of Bourdieu’s theory of cultural capital. However, few studies have investigated technology as a new form of cultural capital. Of the studies that have looked at this, it is argued that skill with technology is no longer simply about access to technology. This Independent Study examines the extent to which technology is a new form of cultural capital and if access is the central issue of this topic. Eight teachers were interviewed to find their perceptions of the comfort level of students’ interactions with technology. An analysis of the interviews showed that technological usage is consistent with Bourdieu’s idea of habitus: students who are exposed to technology at a young age consistently outperform their peers in comfort with technology. This means that lower income students struggle to keep up with their upper class classmates with technological skill. A stratification of comfort level with technology is still visible when access to technology later in life is available, such as through a school that gives students’ their own technological device. This paper argues that access to technology is still important to maintain a climbable “social ladder,” but access must be provided in the early years of life.

Advisor

Matsuzawa, Setsuko

Department

Sociology and Anthropology

Disciplines

Educational Sociology | Inequality and Stratification | Sociology of Culture

Publication Date

2014

Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 2014 Madeline Erickson