Learning to Leisure? When social media becomes educational media

Tara Brabazon

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    Social media sites like Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, FourSquare and Twitter summon a tapestry of friendship, humour and community between digitally literate citizens around the world. But the role and value of these platforms and portals for education, teaching and learning is neither self-evident nor obvious. Therefore, this article returns to a key early text in the sociology of education: Paul Willis's Learning to Labour. Willis addressed the injustices within and beyond school. He probed how teaching practices and the resistive behaviours of young men ensured that they were prevented from and indeed prevent themselves from gaining social mobility. Everyday practices such as smoking, drinking, truancy and swearing undermined their capacity to improve economic and social status. It is appropriate to return to Willis's argument and explore new strategies for avoidance, resistance and denial in the digital cultures of education. I track the movement from learning to labour to learning to leisure.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)82-97
    Number of pages16
    JournalDigital Culture and Education
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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