Contextualizing Platform Labor


  • Rafael Grohmann Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS)
  • Jack Qiu Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)



trabalho digital, plataformização do trabalho, trabalho em plataformas digitais


Digital labor studies emerge in communication research in the early 2010s. Since then, the exponential increase in work and consumption on transportation and delivery platforms has led academics, activists and civil society to discuss phenomena called “uberization” or platformization of labor. Some of the emerging themes are work and artificial intelligence (including the workers behind AI), work conditions of platform workers, platform cooperativism and mechanisms to ensure decent work on platforms. Digital labor refers more to a wide area of studies than to a narrow category of analysis, because work is a human activity. And what does this matter for communication research? Firstly, there is no work without communication, considered as material practice. Communication processes structure and organize labor relations.  Following Williams (2005), platforms are, at the same time, means of production and means of communication. Putting the platformization on the spotlight means there is not just one type of platforms. If there is a diversity of platforms, there is also a heterogeneity of workers who are at risk of being invisible under the same label “digital labor”. There are markers of race, gender and class at work on digital platforms, which means that platformization does not affect everyone in the same way. 

Trabalho digital. Trabalho em plataformas. Plataformização do trabalho


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Biografia do Autor

Rafael Grohmann, Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (UNISINOS)

Professor do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ciências da Comunicação da UNISINOS. Editor da newsletter DigiLabour

Jack Qiu, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)

Professor da Chinese University of Hong Kong


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