Data & Society > our work > academic journal > Trusted strangers: Carework platforms’ cultural entrepreneurship in the on-demand economy

New Media & Society | 05.15.18

Trusted strangers: Carework platforms’ cultural entrepreneurship in the on-demand economy

Julia Ticona, Alexandra Mateescu

Data & Society Postdoctoral Scholar Julia Ticona and Research Analyst Alexandra Mateescu investigate the consequences of “visibility” in carework apps.

“Based on a discourse analysis of carework platforms and interviews with workers using them, we illustrate that these platforms seek to formalize employment relationships through technologies that increase visibility. We argue that carework platforms are “cultural entrepreneurs” that create and maintain cultural distinctions between populations of workers, and institutionalize those distinctions into platform features. Ultimately, the visibility created by platforms does not realize the formalization of employment relationships, but does serve the interests of platform companies and clients and exacerbate existing inequalities for workers.”

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