Click the star to add/remove an item to/from your individual schedule.
You need to be logged in to avail of this functionality, and to see the links to virtual rooms.

Accepted Paper:

Digitally learning to labour: How platform workers imagine and get to know how to navigate the automation of work  
Debora Lanzeni (Monash University)

Paper short abstract:

This paper responds to media imaginaries of tech work by addressing ethnographically how the platform workforce is trained in automated environments and how they learn to cooperate with and trick the algorithmic management of the work experience.

Paper long abstract:

Automated technologies are making the 'workplace' more complex, and thus the processes that constitute it are harder to define. Platform workers are exemplary of this, their (dis)embedded labour experience (Wood, et al, 2019) shifts key work processes to new realms such as Social Media and algorithmic management, which have become new categories through which to understand 'work' and how it is imagined, conceived and experienced in everyday life. Much has been written about how platformization of work contributes to maintaining and enhancing asymmetries and inequalities (Rosenblat, 2018) however less has been said about how these are in tension with digital learning processes and digital commons building (Fuster, 2014) on media platforms.

This paper contributes to the understanding of the platform work experience by analysing the process of training and learning, formal and informal, that allow platform workers to navigate opaque platform policies and logics (Chan, 2019) and to develop digital skills to potentially challenging everyday algorithmic management. In doing so we ethnographically surface the ties between workers' social media activities, expectations of social and economic progress and managers/ last-mile workers relation. We situate shared media imaginaries of technological work at the centre of this constellation.

To develop this we draw on interdisciplinary ethnographic research, between anthropology and communications studies, about platform workers' digital learning. We focus on delivery services, specifically on riders and robotized warehouses workers., in three cities: Madrid, Barcelona in Spain and Melbourne in Australia.

Panel P168b
Digital media, work and inequalities [Media Anthropology Network]
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -