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Chapter 13: Virtual Communities as Tools... > DO GENERATION C POSSES A NEW TYPE OF... - Pg. 236

Virtual Communities as Tools to Support Teaching Practicum reciprocation (Daniel, Zapta-Riviera, McCalla, 2003). While it does not have a dollar value, it can be exchanged for recognition in a field. This is because, while there may be limited financial gains to be made from interacting in an online community, social desire to help and a social ap- preciation of that help (Daniel, 2002). What seemed to be evident in these studies is that there is a new generation of learners, distinct from those of the past who possess a different type of cultural and social capital. The cultural and social capital that the different generations have possessed has created labels that were used to identify their distinct characteristics. The Baby Boomers were the first such-labelled generational cohort and are typically the parents of Generation X. Generation X were largely born during the 1960's and 1970's and are regarded as entrepre- neurial and technology friendly (see Figure 1). This generational cohort have seen and driven the majority of technological innovations and developments. For example, they have seen the development of PCs, the WWW, email, mobile phones and computer games. Generation Y, born during the 1980's and early 1990's have also been labelled The Internet Generation (see Figure 1). This cohort have grown up in an increasingly Figure 1. Generation X, Y and C digital and Internet driven world. They have seen the Internet develop in all spheres of life, both personal and in business. They have digital technologies such as high speed broadband and digital cameras. This implies the different cultural and social as well as digital capital these groups possess. DO GENERATION C POSSES A NEW TYPE OF CAPITAL? In the studies that utilised Bourdieu's conception of capital, the focus was on the social and cultural capital required to engage with the new digital spaces and the differences in capital that created the digital divide. These studies conceived of capital as "accumulated history" and "accumulated labour (in its materialized form or its "incorporated," embodied form) which, when appropriated on a private, i.e., exclusive, basis by agents or groups of agents, enables them to appropriate social energy in the form of reified or living labour" (Bourdieu, 1986, p. 241). These studies have used capital as the ability to employ the appropriate resources to engage productively in a field. If the agent failed to do so it may indicate that the agent did 236