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Digital Platform Work in Europe - An anthropological inquiry into the experiences of and motivations for working through an app

Project: Research

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Digital platform work often poses a challenge to the existing labour regulations and social security systems in Europe which are all primarily based on the idea that each citizen will take on regular employment. Digital platform workers are mainly categorized as freelancers, a work category that often places the freelancer on the edge of the social security systems in Europe, or at least places the freelancer less protected by the labour law and the social security systems than an employee. Through the means of algorithmic management, even the known divide between employee and freelancer is challenged, and digital platform workers in Belgium was in 2018, during the time of my first round of fieldwork, able to work without adhering to a work status due to a new law that exempted the riders from paying taxes. However, what this also meant for the riders was that they were exempted from the protection of the social security system in Belgium that usually protects workers. Through nine months of ethnographic fieldwork among different digital platform workers in Europe, I will examine the experiences of and motivations for working through a digital platform while being managed by an algorithm. Furthermore, I will collect data from relevant conferences, strikes and debates concerning digital platform work in Europe.
These findings will help me identify the overlapping value realms connected to work, freedom and security nets in the case of digital platform work in Europe.
Short titleDigital Platform Work
Effective start/end date01/09/2017 → …

    Research areas

  • Digital Platform Work, Anthropology of Technology, Anthropology of Work

Research outputs

ID: 221152516