eventApril 14 2022

Left to Our Own Devices

Julia Ticona
with Aiha Nguyen
Hosted by Jenna Burrell

“Don’t let these technology companies limit our vision
of what tech counts and what kinds of harms
matter for workers.” —Julia Ticona

On Thursday, April 14th, Dr. Julia Ticona discussed her new book
Left to Our Own Devices at Data & Society’s Book Forum Series with Labor Futures Program Director Aiha Nguyen and Director of Research Jenna Burrell.  

Over the past three decades, digital technologies like smartphones and laptops have transformed the way we work in the US. At the same time, workers at both ends of the income ladder have experienced rising levels of job insecurity and anxiety about their economic futures. In Left to Our Own Devices, Julia Ticona explores the ways that workers use their digital technologies to navigate insecure and flexible labor markets. 

Through 100 interviews with high and low-wage precarious workers across the US, Ticona explores the surprisingly similar “digital hustles” they use to find work and maintain a sense of dignity and identity. She then reveals how the digital hustle ultimately reproduces inequalities between workers at either end of polarized labor markets.

A moving and accessible look at the intimate consequences of contemporary capitalism, Left to Our Own Devices will be of interest to sociologists, communication and media studies scholars, as well as a general audience of readers interested in digital technologies, inequality, and the future of work in the US.

Further Readings and References



Special thanks to Rigoberto Lara Guzmán for curatorial and engagement support, Kara Constantine for post production support, and Data & Society’s Communications, Network Engagement, Accounting, Events, and Strategy teams for assistance with this event.