Areas: digital technologies & data, work & insecurity, culture & inequalities, qualitative methods, emerging forms of labor.
As on-demand platforms bring practices like algorithmic management and on-demand scheduling into new areas of work, these same practices may both empower and adversely affect workers in unanticipated ways. Through multi-sited ethnography including interviews with workers, clients, and industry actors, this project will map social stratification within on-demand services in care, cleaning, and driving.
How do features of gig economy labor platforms affect existing social and economic inequalities within different worker populations? How do features such as unpredictable work scheduling, rating systems, and indirect management affect the ways that workers make everyday life decisions and plan for the future? How does on-demand work affect stability, emotional health, and well-being? What are the social support systems that workers rely on to sustain and carry out their work?
In partnership with the ACLU, Andrew Selbst, Marcia Hofmann, and Kendra Albert - I led the research effort to support Data & Society's amicus brief in support of Carpenter. This brief reviews the empirical research that mobile phones have become essential for life in America today. We make the case that understanding their use as a voluntary convenience risks amplifying inequalities in the vulnerable populations who disproportionately rely on these technologies for access to critical services, emergency information, and economic opportunities.
What started as a frustration about not being able to find photos for PowerPoint presentations has turned into something more. Images of digital technology at work are dominated by knowledge workers with laptops in sundrenched offices. This imagery excludes the important role digital technologies play in the working lives of low-wage workers. This documentary public art project seeks to make a small dent in this problem by re-balancing this public imaginary. All photos are taken with participants' consent and freely available to use through a creative commons license.