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Contested Terrain: understanding the debate about platformized gig labor

Event Type
Department of Sociology
wifi event
Dec 6, 2021   11:00 am  
Dr. Juliet Schor
Originating Calendar
Department of Sociology

Professor, Dr. Juliet Schor from Boston College will be presenting on Gig Labor and Sharing Platforms.

Abstract: There is now a standard narrative about platform work which is that gig workers are subject to Uberization--a process in which labor is increasingly squeezed, controlled and exploited. In this talk I examine the Uberization narrative across a variety of gig labor platforms, drawing on nearly a decade of data from 14 platforms. I argue that rather than a common experience of precarity and  control, the platform sector is currently characterized by high levels of heterogeneity, across a number of dimensions. The talk ends with a discussion of potential futures for gig labor.

Bio: "Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Schor is also a member of the MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network. Schor’s research focuses on consumption, time use, and environmental sustainability. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women's Studies. In 2014 Schor received the American Sociological Association’s award for Public Understanding of Sociology. Schor’s most recent books are After the Gig: How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win it Back (University California Press, 2020), Sustainable Lifestyles and the Quest for Plenitude: Case Studies of the New Economy (Yale University Press, 2014) which she co-edited with Craig Thompson, and True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy (2011 by The Penguin Press, previously published as Plenitude.) As part of her work with the MacArthur Foundation, Schor is currently researching the “connected economy,” via a series of case studies of sharing platforms and their participants. She is also studying the relation between working hours, inequality and carbon emissions."

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