Digital Dialogue Podcast 04: Social Practice

In episode four of the Digital Dialogue podcast, Allan Gyorke and I talk with recent PhD Philosophy graduate and Assistant Professor of Philosophy at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Michael Brownstein, about his work on the social practices embodied by web 2.0 technologies. We discuss his paper The Background, the Body and the Internet: Locating Practical Understanding in Digital Culture, in which he criticizes Hubert Dreyfus’s position that the internet is incapable of cultivating a genuine public space.  Michael uses the work of Bourdieu to argue that the social fields opened by web 2.0 technologies are informed by a set of habits (in the sense of habitus) that lend themselves to scholarly study.  This study, he calls, following Dreyfus’s characterization of Bourdieu’s project, an “empirical program of existential analytics.”

We discuss how these ideas relate to the question of Socratic politics and Michael presents some ideas about a new online journal being developed as part of an NSF grant on which he is working with colleagues at NJIT.

Digital Dialogue 04 with Michael Brownstein: Social Practice
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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • msb277 says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to participate in this project! I look forward to more in the future. One note: the idea of an "empirical program of existential analytics" is Dreyfus' phrase, not mine. It's how he characterizes – correctly, I think – Bourdieu's work.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Michael. I will change the text above to reflect the proper attribution.

  • msb277 says:

    No problem. Probably my fault in the abstract. Thanks again!

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