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The Habitus of Internet Users - Essay Example

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The Habitus of Internet Users Name Instructor Class 25 January 2012 The Habitus of Internet Users At present, it cannot be denied that for societies that can access the Internet, it has become either a minor or major activity to people’s habitus (Gracy, 2007; Yang, Hsu, and Tan, 2010)…
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Download file to see previous pages Nevertheless, issues about Internet usage and its effects on people’s attitudes and behaviours have warranted significant scholarly attention (Bernal, 2010; Zillien and Hargittai, 2009). On the one hand, it can be argued as improving people’s cultural capital through playing various major roles in their daily lives (Cool, Seitz, and Mestrits, 2009; Liu, 2010). On the other hand, it also presents disturbing issues as a disruption to traditional norms and practices and a threat to identity and information privacy (Bernal, 2010; Zillien and Hargittai, 2009). This paper analyzes Internet usage as an element of modern habitus and the issues that come with it. The issues of using the Internet as part of habitus of Internet users are perceptions of the Internet as part of real, everyday life, the dangers of symbiotic relationships between Internet firms and users, and social stratification that results from Internet use. Different people and groups integrate the Internet into their lives in various degrees. Schutz (in Schutz and Luckmann, 1973) states that the daily life-world is “man’s [sic] fundamental and paramount reality’ (p.3 cited in Liu, 2010, p.528). It is the present that concerns and absorbs his energies. Bourdieu’s habitus can be placed in daily life as patterns of conduct that shapes behaviours and everyday activities (Noble and Watkins, 2003, p.522). ...
Young people, specifically the Millenials, have grown with the Internet age. The effects of the Internet on their habitus deserve special consideration, since they can carry on these influences in the long run, and create a new habitus of the future that is unlike that of the previous twenty or thirty years. Liu (2010) studied and compared the Internet practices of Chinese and Norwegian high school students using Schutz’ (1970) ideas on zones of interests or relevance. Liu (2010) conducted open-ended in-depth interviews with 25 high-school students in China and Norway. Findings showed that Chinese and Norwegian high school students differed in how they used Internet in their lives. The Chinese used the Internet generally for fun and to escape their worlds, while the Norwegians employed the Internet as an everyday tool for diverse purposes, specifically for instrumental uses, such as seeking information and doing their homework, aside from socialization purposes (Liu, 2010, p.537). The Norwegians have integrated the Internet more into their habitus, which makes them more interested in accessing the Net all the time. In short: “it seems that the Norwegian sample was ‘wired’ for all kinds of purposes whereas the Chinese were ‘wired’ mainly for fun” (Liu, 2010, p.539). In addition, these groups view the Internet’s role in their studies in conflicting manners. Chinese students found the Internet as a delay to their studies, or a distraction, while Norwegian students believed that the Internet helped them improve their academic performance (Liu, 2010, p.539). This perception can be viewed as part of the cultural habitus of the Chinese that see the Net as “devilish” in its effects. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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