The habitus of digital scholars

  • Cristina Costa Centre for Lifelong Learning, School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Keywords: digital scholarship, habitus, social capital, cultural capital, the Participatory Web, Pierre Bourdieu


This article concerns the Participatory Web and the impact it has on academic researchers’ perceptions of digital scholarship practices. The Participatory Web, as a space of active involvement, presence and socialisation of knowledge, has the potential to introduce significant changes to scholarly practice and to diversify it. This article draws on the findings of a narrative inquiry study that investigated the habitus of 10 digital scholars. The study uses Bourdieu’s concepts of habitus, field, and social and cultural capital as a research lens. One of the main findings to come out of the study was that research participants’ approaches to digital scholarship practices are highly influenced by their online social capital, the online networks that influence their thinking and outlook on scholarly practices, including their advocacy of openness and transparency of academic practice. This article concludes by highlighting the dispositions digital scholars display in an attempt to characterise the values and beliefs that underpin their scholarly practices.

Keywords: digital scholarship; habitus; social capital; cultural capital; the Participatory Web; Pierre Bourdieu

(Published: 31 January 2014)

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2014, 21: 21274 -


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Author Biography

Cristina Costa, Centre for Lifelong Learning, School of Education, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Cristina Costa is a lecturer in Lifelong Learning (Technology Enhanced Learning) at the University of Strathclyde. Her research focuses on the use of participatory media (also known as Social Media, Web 2.0) in a changing environment. She is particularly interested in analysing the advantages and also the implications of using the social web in Education and beyond (Learning and Teaching, Research and Internationalisation, Engagement and Social Enterprise, health, etc).In 2010 she was named Learning Technologist of the Year by the Association for Learning Technology (ALT).
How to Cite
Costa C. (2014). The habitus of digital scholars. Research in Learning Technology, 21.
Original Research Articles