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City Lab | 10.24.18

We’ve Been Trapped in ‘Uberland’

Alex Rosenblat

Data & Society Researcher Alex Rosenblat discusses her new book Uberland with CityLab.

“There’s been a misleading idea—prompted in part by the sharing-economy rhetoric—that the people who were doing this work are doing it for play money. This comes out of a longer history of how we feminize work when we call it ‘sharing’ or ‘social’—it gets associated with the long history of work women do for free, because they’re expected to contribute in these non-monetizable ways. But what I found is that even the drivers who were doing it in a more supplementary capacity were paying serious bills [with their earnings]—health insurance, rent, tuition, or trying to start their own business. Generally speaking, this work works best for people who least rely on it.”

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