Web 2.0, Class Consciousness, and Critical Thinking/Cultural Capital

Bordieu’s concept that auto-didactic culture is devalued outside academia and lauded within it is relevant to our in class discussion last week about incorporating web 2.0 amateur “experts'” subject knowledge into the composition classroom. Bordieu’s book, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste, asserts that people are habituated into certain levels of aesthetic appreciation based on class. Is Bordieu correct that our social standing (at least partially) determines our critical apparatus to digest cultural capital? If so, then the whole democratizing potential of web 2.0 “experts” seems negligible at best because socially constructed uses of digital cultural capital will remain pervasive regardless of the numbers of critical thinking/cultural capital texts available online. Can the critical apparatus provided by education close Bordieu’s class determined cultural appreciation gap? How would an instructor achieve this goal in a freshmen composition classroom?

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2 comments on “Web 2.0, Class Consciousness, and Critical Thinking/Cultural Capital

  1. I feel new literacies offer us an opportunity to alter traditional associations of class and structure; nevertheless, new literarcies do take place within class structures, and it is important to acknowledge this. There is still a digital divide and the training necessary to be able to produce certain kinds of texts, like academic writing, depends largely on educational opportunities, the quality of which is still connected to geography (inner city schools versus schools in richer neighborhoods). Wysocki’s insistence on examining the materiality of texts was highly illuminating. Nevertheless, new literacies can be more democratic than older forms if we take advantage of this opportunity to change how we teach.

  2. Pingback: These are a Few Of My Favorite Posts (Part 1) « Teaching Writing in a Digital Age

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