Contemporary Education: Digital Subject vs Embodied Subject



The challenges that are faced by digital education are analysed. It is shown that the emergency turn to the digital education on a massive scale that was provoked by the pandemic in 2020–2021 helps to reveal the key challenges that digital education faces. The most important of those is the specifics of education subjects interactions in the digital space. It is shown that the main factor is the gap between the embodied person and digital human presence. The human body is the source of the many of social discriminations, but the digital sphere lacks the body contact and it makes it possible for all the interacting agents to be equal. At the same time this situation has negative consequences: the intersubjective emotional contact between humans is lost in digital interactions and that provokes the misunderstandings and aggression between the communicating subjects. In digital education it can be traced in the difficulties of maintaining the hierarchical structure between the lecturer and the students and in the fact that it is impossible for the lecturer to get a non-verbal feedback from the students to be able to adapt to their needs. The obvious potential of digital education for the inclusive education is based on the absence of body contact between the students and the lecturer that makes it possible for people with disabilities to stand on the equal ground with other participants of the education process. But it also has its downside: in this situation the person with disability do not have the need to enter the society in the education process and thus the culture of total inclusion and acceptance is not being formed. The conclusion is drawn that digital education should be a supporting instrument in the education process, but for the institute of education to fulfil its social functions completely, the “live” interpersonal embodied communication is essential.

General Information

Keywords: digital subject, embodied subject, inclusive education, digital education, remote education

Publication rubric: Inclusive Education in Digital Environment: Opportunities and Risks

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Trufanova E.O., Yanovskaya O.R. Contemporary Education: Digital Subject vs Embodied Subject. Digital Humanities and Technology in Education (DHTE 2021): Collection of Articles of the II All-Russian Scientific and Practical Conference with International Participation. November 11-12, 2021 / V.V. Rubtsov, M.G. Sorokova, N.P. Radchikova (Eds). Moscow: Publishing house MSUPE, 2021., pp. 315–325.


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Information About the Authors

Elena O. Trufanova, Doctor of Philosophy, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Olga R. Yanovskaya, Associate Professor of the Chair Of Engineering Business and Management – Economic Theory, Bauman Moscow State Technical University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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