Social Class and The Unequal Digital Literacies of Youth

  • Ron Darvin University of British Columbia


Recognizing the importance of technology to achieve agentive participation in the knowledge economy, this paper examines to what extent social class differences between youth shape their digital literacies. Drawing on a case study of adolescents of contrasting social positions, it discusses how the material and relational differences of home environments, manifested by spatial configurations, parental involvement and peer networks, can help develop diverse practices and dispositions towards technology. By demonstrating how the inequities of digital use can lead to the unequal accumulation of cultural and social capital, this paper concludes with the educational implications of the third digital divide.

Author Biography

Ron Darvin, University of British Columbia

Ron Darvin is a PhD candidate and Vanier scholar at the Department of Language and Literacy Education of the University of British Columbia. A recipient of the 2017 LSP SIG Emerging Scholar Award of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), he has published articles in TESOL Quarterly and the Annual Review of Applied Linguistics. His research focuses on issues of digital equity, social class, investment, and identity.

How to Cite
DarvinR. (2018). Social Class and The Unequal Digital Literacies of Youth. Language and Literacy, 20(3), 26-45.