Distributed digital capital: digital literacies and everyday media practices

David McGillivray*, James Mahon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
53 Downloads (Pure)


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
Pages (from-to)196-210
Number of pages15
JournalMedia Practice and Education
Issue number3
Early online date19 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2021


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


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