Distributed digital capital: digital literacies and everyday media practices

David McGillivray*, James Mahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we focus on young people's use of digital platforms, within the context of a ‘live’ digital media project. The study draws on Bourdieu's notion of social practices and explores unevenness in the possession of digital capital by young people. We use a live digital media project and draw on a (digital) participatory action research approach to explore the extent of distributed digital capital in evidence with a group of young people from dis-privileged backgrounds and their creative use of digital platforms to enact strategies to alter their future prospects. We conclude that for those young people emerging from a challenging habitus, support mechanisms are a crucial element in building a bank of digital capital tradable in other areas of their lives. Communities of practice can support those without privilege to compete on a more level playing field with their privileged counterparts by opening up access to educational cultural capital.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalMedia Practice and Education
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Mar 2021


  • digital capital
  • Bordieu
  • digital inequality
  • social media
  • digital citizenship
  • young people


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