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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: 26 July 2021



(p.133) Conclusion
Digital Divisions

Matthew H. Rafalow

University of Chicago Press

This chapter summarizes the key themes of the book, outlining how and why teachers’ different disciplinary approaches to students’ digital play has the effect of reproducing social inequality along lines of race-ethnicity and social class. While students of Pierre Bourdieu have long argued that class-differentiated parenting styles are the source of cultural inequality in education, this book shows clearly that teachers operate as gatekeepers for achievement, as well. Teachers’ gatekeeping occurs through a disciplinary process that has the effect of only transforming the digital play of students at Heathcliff Academy, the school with primarily wealthy, White students, into cultural capital for achievement. As a result, disciplining play creates high stakes for children in that it shapes whether they internalize their own creative self-worth as important to school or not. It is a method of alienation that schools impose on children that serves as a mechanism for social reproduction in education. Further, given the history of work on school socialization, it is likely that these disciplinary approaches will differently prepare students for the digital era labor market.

Keywords:   digital literacies, cultural inequality, social reproduction, race and racism, social class, digital play, social media, video games, discipline, youth culture, classism

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