Reconsidering digital labour: Bringing tech workers into the debate

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Abstract

The digital labour debate has produced manifold insights into new forms of work emerging within digital capitalism. So far, though, most research has focused on highly precarious labourers, neglecting the growing ranks of affluent ‘tech workers’. I argue that this analytical oversight can be attributed to a narrow conceptualisation of digital labour. Thus, this article first proposes a broadening of the digital labour concept to encompass all work entangled with the digital economy. In a second step, I demonstrate the heuristic surplus of this theoretical broadening through a discussion of the empirical literature on tech workers. By bringing tech workers into the debate, I point to the cultural, technological and organisational relations between high and low-paid digital labourers. Pursuing twin-aims, the article combines a theoretical reconsideration of digital labour with an analytical discussion of the literature on tech workers to provide a more relational account of work and class in digital capitalism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-307
JournalNew Technology Work and Employment
Volume37
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • ARCHITECTURE
  • DIFFERENCE
  • FRAMEWORK
  • GENDER
  • GIG ECONOMY
  • INFORMATION-SYSTEMS
  • MIDDLE
  • PLATFORMS
  • TIME
  • WOMEN
  • class
  • crowd work
  • digital capitalism
  • digital labour
  • gig work
  • knowledge work
  • platform capitalism
  • professions
  • tech work

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