41. Technology and Precarity in Work

Joy Ming, Cornell University; Kalie Mayberry, Harvard University; Eun Jeong Cheon, Syracuse University; Marina Johnson-Zafiris, Cornell University; Veronica Uribe del Aguila, UC San Diego; Lucy Pei, UC Irvine;

The goal of this panel is to explore the intertwined relationship between technology and precarity-how technology can create situations that disadvantage workers and how workers, in turn, can use technology to reimagine their futures. This link between technology and precarity provides an opportunity to study both the shifting power dynamics within work environments and affordances provided by the technologies that allow workers to feel both empowered and disempowered to engage in organizing. In one direction, we want to discuss how technological systems complicate organizational power dynamics (i.e., surveillance capitalism, automation, algorithmic decision-making at work, supply chain capitalism). In the other direction, we also want to explore how workers seek to address the structural barriers and authority of decision-making (i.e., new repertoires of contention, transnationalization of workers' networks of solidarity). Looking at both of these directions, we also want to explore contexts where the two intersect and the tensions that arise when doing so. We welcome a variety of perspectives from researchers and practitioners across disciplines, including those understanding the sociopolitical impacts of technology as well as those designing and building systems. Additionally, we are interested in challenging the definition of worker to include gig workers as well as domestic workers and volunteers. We also expand the concept of work to not only include paid labor but the invisible labor of organizing against precarity. Finally, we are especially interested in how these questions manifest across different geographies as well as how they are experienced differently across gender, race, ability, and class.

Contact: jming@infosci.cornell.edu, kmayberry@cyber.harvard.edu, echeon@syr.edu, mlz32@cornell.edu, vuribede@ucsd.edu, lucyp1@uci.edu

Keywords: Social Movements and STS, (In)Security and STS, Data and Quantification

Published: 04/07/2023