Initiative

Social Instabilities in Labor Futures

Technology is disrupting, destabilizing, and transforming many aspects of the labor force. Data & Society seeks to better understand emergent disruptions in the labor force as a result of data-centric technological development, with a special focus on structural inequalities.

Currently, we are exploring these issues through two ongoing projects:

  1. Mapping Inequalities Across the On-Demand Economy
  2. Understanding Privacy as a Means of Economic Redistribution
 

Explainers

Explainer: Algorithmic Management in the Workplace

02.06.19 | explainer | Alexandra Mateescu, Aiha Nguyen

Explainer: Workplace Monitoring & Surveillance

02.06.19 | explainer | Alexandra Mateescu, Aiha Nguyen

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Primers

Explainer: Workplace Monitoring & Surveillance

02.06.19 | explainer | Alexandra Mateescu, Aiha Nguyen

Technology enables employers to increasingly monitor their employees. This explainer by Alexandra Mateescu and Aiha Nguyen identifies four current trends in workplace monitoring and surveillance: prediction and flagging tools;...

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Explainer: Algorithmic Management in the Workplace

02.06.19 | explainer | Alexandra Mateescu, Aiha Nguyen

This explainer by Alexandra Mateescu and Aiha Nguyen defines algorithmic management and reviews how this concept challenges workers’ rights in sectors, including retail, the service industry, and delivery and...

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Data & Civil Rights: Employment Primer

10.30.04 | primer | Alex Rosenblat, Kate Wikelius, danah boyd, Seeta Peña Gangadharan, Corrine Yu

The complexity of hiring algorithms which fold all kinds of data into scoring systems make it difficult to detect and therefore challenge hiring decisions, even when outputs appear to...

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Future of Labor: Networked Employment Discrimination

10.08.14 | primer | Alex Rosenblat, Tamara Kneese, danah boyd

As businesses begin implementing algorithms to sort through applicants and use third party services to assess the quality of candidates based on their networks, personality tests, and other scores,...

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Future of Labor: Technologically Mediated Artisanal Production

10.08.14 | primer | Tamara Kneese, Alex Rosenblat, danah boyd

From 3D printing to maker culture, there’s a rise of technical practices that resist large industrial and corporate modes of production, similar to what is occurring in artisanal food...

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Future of Labor: Understanding Fair Labor Practices in a Networked Age

10.08.14 | primer | Tamara Kneese, Alex Rosenblat, danah boyd

Unionization emerged as a way of protecting labor rights when society shifted from an agricultural ecosystem to one shaped by manufacturing and industrial labor. New networked work complicates the...

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Future of Labor: Workplace Surveillance

10.08.14 | primer | Alex Rosenblat, Tamara Kneese, danah boyd

Employers have long devised techniques and used new technologies to surveil employees in order to increase efficiency, decrease theft, and otherwise assert power and control over subordinates. New and...

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Future of Labor: Understanding Intelligent Systems

10.08.14 | primer | Alex Rosenblat, Tamara Kneese, danah boyd

Science fiction has long imagined a workforce reshaped by robots, but the increasingly common instantiation of intelligent systems in business is much more mundane. Beyond the utopian and dystopian...

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Journal Articles and Papers

The Taking Economy: Uber, Information, and Power

Columbia Law Review | 03.07.17

Ryan Calo, Alex Rosenblat

Limitless Worker Surveillance

paper | 03.10.16

Ifeoma Ajunwa, Kate Crawford, Jason Schultz

Periodical Articles and Posts

What Motivates Gig Economy Workers

Harvard Business Review | 11.17.16

Alex Rosenblat

Trust & Safety Uber + Lyft

Medium | 07.22.16

Alex Rosenblat

Who are the Uber & Lyft drivers?

Medium | 07.12.16

Alex Rosenblat

Uber’s Drive-By Politics

Motherboard | 05.27.16

Alex Rosenblat

Algorithms Can Make Good Co-Workers

Slate | 02.22.16

Madeleine Clare Elish

Uber’s Phantom Cabs

Motherboard | 07.27.15

Alex Rosenblat

The Mirage of the Marketplace

Slate | 07.27.15

Tim Hwang, Madeleine Clare Elish

Testimony, Interviews, Presentations

Press Coverage

Duet Ex Machina

Psychology Today | 05.02.16

Related Events

Researchers

Alexandra Mateescu

@cariatidaa

Alex Rosenblat

@mawnikr

Julia Ticona

@JuliaTicona1

Karen Levy

@karen_ec_levy

Dean Jansen

@deanjansen

Solon Barocas

@S010N

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