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The Digital Society Initiative Community Work brings together scholars across disciplines to examine how technological advances and other forces are changing the world of work and how we can shape change for the better.

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Our community develops research projects focused on a variety of aspects of digitalization and work. Find out more about what is currently going on by visiting our projects site.

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The precarious future(s) of gig work: Migration, datafication & financialization's Cover Image

15.2.2022

The precarious future(s) of gig work: Migration, datafication & financialization

Join us on 9 March for an inspiring public lecture and discussion with Prof. Dr. Niels van Doorn from the University of Amsterdam on “The precarious future(s) of gig work: Migration, datafication & financialization”. Drawing on four years of research conducted in the context of the Platform Labor project, this talk will examine the three pillars of the gig economy – migration, datafication and financialization – in order to elucidate its turbulent history, ambivalent present, and precarious future(s). Part one starts by recounting the gig economy’s “golden days”, marked by rapid capital-induced growth, high pay incentives and regulatory voids/arbitrage. Part two then explains how increased public scrutiny and investor demands for a road to profitability put dual pressure on gig companies to adjust their operations, spurring labor cost-cutting and gamification, on the one hand, and regulatory entrepreneurship on the other. During this period, workers with access to better alternatives left the gig economy behind and urban gig work increasingly became migrant work. Part three reflects further on the convergence of migration, datafication and financialization in the gig economy, particularly in light of recent court decisions across European member states as well as national and EU-wide regulatory initiatives. It concludes by outlining the potential and fiercely contested futures of platform-based gig work, all of which signal the end of platform exceptionalism and the increased institutional integration of gig work into the low-wage services sector. This integration, it is suggested, may entail the end of the gig economy as we know it today. This event is part of the DSI spring lecture series "The Future of Work".

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Our goal is inspire and engage the UZH community and the wider public with the topic of the future of work.

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How is digitalization changing work? We bring together academics at the University of Zurich across various fields to study work as it is today and to re-imagine how it can be tomorrow.

Our Members

Our community connects scholars from different disciplines who are interested in shaping the future of work through research. Find out more about who we are by visiting our Members site.

Our Projects

Our community develops research projects focused on a variety of aspects of digitalization and work. Find out more about what is currently going on by visiting our projects site.