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Media and Education in the Digital Age

Concepts, Assessments, Subversions

Edited By Matteo Stocchetti

This book is an invitation to informed and critical participation in the current debate on the role of digital technology in education and a comprehensive introduction to the most relevant issues in this debate. After an early wave of enthusiasm about the emancipative opportunities of the digital «revolution» in education, recent contributions invite caution, if not scepticism. This collection rejects extreme interpretations and establishes a conceptual framework for the critical questioning of this role in terms of concepts, assessments and subversions. This book offers conceptual tools, ideas and insights for further research. It also provides motivation and information to foster active participation in debates and politics and encourages teachers, parents and learners to take part in the making of the future of our societies.
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Bowling Online: A Critical View of Social Capital and Virtual Communities

Extract

Melissa Harness & Sultana A. Shabazz

Trust is the expectation that arises within a community of regular, honest, and cooperative behavior, based on commonly shared norms; on the part of other members of that community… Social capital is a capability that arises from the prevalence of trust in a society or in certain parts of it. It can be embodied in the smallest and most basic social group, the family, as well as the largest of all groups, the nation, and in all the other groups in between.

(Francis Fukuyama: 1996)

Abstract

In 1995, Robert Putnam introduced his theory of social capital in Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital. Furthering his research, in 2000, he published Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, in which Putnam attempts to explain how and why Americans’ social capital has consistently declined in the wake of the 1960’s era. Putnam’s uses his main argument to demonstrate how the United States, historically recognized as a leader in democratic civic engagement, is in danger of reaching critically deficient levels of social capital, thus leading to a society that no longer trusts or knows its own members. This chapter seeks out a modern relevance for Putnam’s concept of social capital in a nation increasingly defined by hyper-realism and virtual lives. In engaging some of the critiques of this particular iteration of social capital, we engage with hidden discourses of marginality and historical contextuality, the effect of dis-association...

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