i3 Scholars: Coming Soon

Research Advisor: Daniel Carter, School of Information Studies, University of Texas, Austin


On-Demand Labor: Tactics of Flexibility and Control

Ollivierre, Rachel; Carter, Daniel; Younge, Lauryn; Guerrero, David; Robles, Daniel; Adams, Medhin. iConference 2018. Sheffield, UK.

Abstract: This poster explores the perspectives of workers in on-demand positions man-aged through online platforms. Our interview-based study considers how Uber drivers perceive their employment status, how they view Uber’s management tactics and how they modify their work practices in order to control their schedules and wages. We found that workers tended to view themselves as independent contractors and had strong understandings of the tactics used by Uber to manage the supply of drivers. However, we also found that they do not view their responses to these tactics as a form of resistance. Instead of seeing their employment status as a problem that calls for collective action, drivers were primarily interested in increasing their own wages.


Labor in the Gig Economy: Opportunities for Information Studies

Olliverre, Rachel; Younge, Lauryn; Robles, Daniel; Guerrero, David; Adam, Medhin; Carter, Daniel. iConference 2017. Wuhan, China. https://doi.org/10.9776/17348

Abstract: The gig economy refers to a system in which independent workers perform short-term contracts, or “gigs.” Because these contracts are managed through online applications, understanding information systems has become crucial to understanding emerging forms of work and labor. This poster examines the scholarly discussion surrounding labor in order to understand how scholars in the field of information studies have engaged with the concept of labor. We conducted a literature review of ­­articles published by JASIST, iConference, CSCW and CHI and found that the discussion of labor was minimal. Although there has been a slight increase in interest in labor in recent years, there has been very little research pertaining specifically to the gig economy. As the number of workers participating in the gig economy continues to grow, however, we suggest that information studies scholars are ideally positioned to contribute to future discussions of labor.