Based on extensive conversations with Uber, Lyft, and Ola drivers across multiple cities in the United States and India, this article argues that gig/platform work operates through a reorganization of established labor process with data at the center of such changes. Not only is data central to a dynamic restructuring of labor processes but data as “value” moves across multiple production processes enabling a new spatiotemporal fix. Data as “value/capital” thus enters a potentially endless cycle of value creation and appropriation. This makes possible for the labor movement to move away from narrow business unionism and instead build a new politics that has at its center data as unaccounted value produced by workers.
Research Article| April 01 2020
Magic Wands and Monkey Brains: Is Labor Ready to Lead Society in the New Struggle Over Data?
South Atlantic Quarterly (2020) 119 (2): 422–431.
Biju Mathew; Magic Wands and Monkey Brains: Is Labor Ready to Lead Society in the New Struggle Over Data?. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 April 2020; 119 (2): 422–431. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-8177995
Download citation file: