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Digital DivisionsHow Schools Create Inequality in the Tech Era$
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Matthew H. Rafalow

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226726557

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226726724.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 02 August 2021

Schools as Socializing Agents for Digital Participation

Schools as Socializing Agents for Digital Participation

(p.109) 4 Schools as Socializing Agents for Digital Participation
Digital Divisions

Matthew H. Rafalow

University of Chicago Press

This chapter shows how the different disciplinary approaches to play described thus far in the book shaped how students pursued digital activities in and outside of school. Because teachers at Heathcliff Academy told students their play was essential to school, students there created and shared versions of themselves online that were curated to appease institutional authorities, including future college admissions officers. Since teachers at Sheldon Junior High told students their play was threatening to school, students there locked their online activities from public view, and did not develop skills curating public online identities. Because teachers at César Chávez Middle School told students their digital play was irrelevant to school, their students only curated online profiles for peers online without mind to institutional authorities. Teachers disciplinary orientations to students’ digital play thus shaped student orientations to their digital participation, impacting how students interacted in online publics and in ways that may shape their later life opportunities. Healthcliff students, for example, pursued their interests visibly online in order to appear as candidates for later educational success, like college admissions—others students did not.

Keywords:   socialization, digital participation, participation gap, networked publics, privacy, digital footprints, race, social class and classism, youth culture, racism

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