Research Track

Labor Futures

We focus on structural inequalities to analyze how technology is disrupting, destabilizing, and transforming many aspects of the labor force.

Team Members

Recent Highlights

Labor Researchers in the Field

About this Track

The Labor Futures team at Data & Society uses ethnographic research to better understand emergent disruptions in the labor force as a result of data-centric technological development, with a special focus on structural inequalities. Automated decision-making and new tools enable broad control over workers, including their monitoring, evaluation, access to work, shift selection, and pay. We talk to contingent and “gig economy” platform workers in order to understand the new paradigm of algorithmic management in the workplace today. We also offer short reads to synthesize how algorithmic management relies on specific tools and techniques of data collection and worker surveillance. We recently explored these issues through two projects: Mapping Inequalities Across the On-Demand Economy and Understanding Privacy as a Means of Economic Redistribution.

Our current research focuses on 3 areas:

  • Algorithmic inequality
  • Encoded corporate power
  • Work after COVID-19

Latest Research

All Work

  • event
    Data & Society
    Wendy Liu and Meredith Whittaker discuss how the COVID-19 shutdown is impacting workers and organizing in the technology industry. Read more
    April 2020
  • event
    Data & Society
    On September 9, 2015, the Data & Society Research Institute hosted Platformation, a one-day summit that brought together a diverse group of stakeholders for a multi-disciplinary discussion on platform-based labor. Participa... Read more
    November 2015
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