The Labor Futures team at Data & Society uses ethnographic research to better understand emergent disruptions in the labor force as a result of data-centric technological development, with a special focus on structural inequalities. Automated decision-making and new tools enable broad control over workers, including their monitoring, evaluation, access to work, shift selection, and pay. We talk to contingent and “gig economy” platform workers in order to understand the new paradigm of algorithmic management in the workplace today. We also offer short reads to synthesize how algorithmic management relies on specific tools and techniques of data collection and worker surveillance. We recently explored these issues through two projects: Mapping Inequalities Across the On-Demand Economy and Understanding Privacy as a Means of Economic Redistribution.
Our current research focuses on 3 areas:
- Algorithmic inequality
- Encoded corporate power
- Work after COVID-19