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Lynette Kvasny – Forms of Capital, IT, and Economic Development

presentation sponsored by Dean’s Office, CREW, CIC, and UM@SI (12-1pm Ehrlicher, 3 April 2006)
thinking about cultural and social capital rather than simply economic

What do people bring with them when they engage IT, and how does that shape their interaction?

Dissertation work

Atlanta Community Technology Centers (pitched as way to get a job, computer skills -> job); challenge the notions of positive outcomesfight for cyber rights – political tone similar to fight for civil rights; quote from Atlanta city councilman

glassed computer labs – what’s the role of performance here? She mentioned that people sometimes felt like they were on display.

Research question: Why does inequality persist?

have nots having to become like the haves; technology allows for adaptation and configuration (instead of the person adapting)

Types of Capital
symbolic – producing world view; discourse of powerful people; Bourdieu and political domination
cultural – taste, knowledge, expertise; required for consumption of cultural goods
social – actual or ptential resources available through social relationships; Bourdieu different focus from Putnam; Bourdieu about power
economic – financial resources; convertible and transferable

Current work

West Philadelphia community-based orgs (Belmont neighborhood); how can you use tech to create change

colleague Lakshman Yapa – outreach in West Philly; geographer

use IT and capitals to address poverty

discourse – hopeful, pragmatic
partnerships between university and community

I had breakfast with Dr. Kvasny at Zingerman’s (mmm, latkes), and we talked about the ideas of identity, community, and capital. She also gave me some tips about choosing a dissertation committee – i.e. don’t pick people who can’t get along even if they’re big names. Mentioned IFIP conference as place to find more work on identity and community.

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