Publication Details

This article was originally published as Johnson, NF, Teenage Technological Experts' Views of Schooling, Australian Educational Researcher, 36(1), 2009, 59-72.


Utilising Pierre Bourdieu’s formula for studying social practice, this study explored the construction of technological expertise amongst a heterogenous group of New Zealand teenagers. The qualitative study employed observations and interviews with five boys and three girls aged 13 – 17, who considered themselves to be technological experts; their peers and/or their family also considered them to be technological experts. For seven of the eight participants, their primary site of leisure was their home computer use. This article gives some examples about how the participants’ understand schooling and its relevance to them. It engages with ideas concerning the performance of school, and argues that the participants’ practice in this field of home computer use for leisure tends to be misrecognised. The article concludes by discussing the implications this misrecognition has for the structures of formal schooling.



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