The mobilisation of AI in education: A Bourdieusean field analysis

Huw Davies, Rebecca Eynon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

As with many other areas of society, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently hailed as a ‘solution’ to perceived problems in education. Though few sociologists of education would agree with its deterministic claims, AI solutionist thinking is gaining significant currency. In this paper, through the creation of a knowledge graph that is designed to capture the field of educational technology (edtech), we examine how and why the field’s agents are valorising AI. Using this relatively novel method together with Bourdieusean theory, we subsequently critically explore the field’s logics in order to examine how and why different stakeholders in AI and edtech position themselves, the main concepts they collectively promote and their incentives for doing so. Drawing on this analysis, we argue that AI is currently being mobilised in edtech problematic ways and advocate for more systematic sociological thinking and research to re-orientate the field to better account for society’s structural conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-22
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Bourdieu
  • education
  • edtech
  • inequality
  • knowledge graphs


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