Dysfunctional devices in the classroom meet the habitus of the new

Document Type

Journal Article


SAGE Publications Inc.


School of Education

Grant Number

ARC Number : DP140101258


Originally published as: Johnson, N. F. (2019). Dysfunctional devices in the classroom meet habitus of the new. E-Learning and Digital Media, 16(3), 208–220. Original publication available here


New media has enabled users to informally learn, consume, create and produce in many different ways and forms at (almost) any time. In 2013, Papacharissi and Easton further theorised Bourdieu’s notion of habitus to embrace new media in the 21st century, coining ‘habitus of the new’ focusing on the novelty and practices surrounding new media. This article explores the digital practices inside of school, and the ways young people use new media on their digital devices (including their smartphones). The article points to some dysfunctional practices that practically occur when endeavouring to incorporate these individual devices for learning purposes. Drawing upon a large study utilising ethnographic studies of three public secondary schools located in the state of Victoria, Australia, I provide four vignettes highlighting how and when students used their digital devices for learning, leisure, and social interaction, performing the habitus of the new, and working around teacher directives.