Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Jonathan Sterne (2003) Bourdieu, Technique and Technology, Cultural Studies 17(3/4) 2003, 367–389

This paper examines the place of technology in Pierre Bourdieu’s social theory, and argues for the relevance of Bourdieu’s thought to the study of technology. In moving from an examination of the status of technology in Bourdieu’s work through to his broad approach to social practice and his widely cited concept of habitus, it is argued that technologies are crystallizations of socially organized action. As such, they should be considered not as exceptional or special phenomena in a social theory, but rather as very much like other kinds of social practices that recur over time. Ultimately, through the use of Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, and capital, we are able to overcome the binary divisions such as technology/society and subject/object that have plagued technology studies.

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