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Studying intersectional challenges in gig work: lessons from the global South
November 11 @ 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm UTC
Abstract: With the rise and proliferation of gig economy platforms providing ride hailing, food delivery and other app-based services on-demand in major urban centers of the world, there have been major transformations in work and life globally. Gig platforms have certainly disrupted and redefined the discovery and allocation of casual work through algorithmic management, creating grave concerns for regulating the future of work. Simultaneously, especially in the global South, gig platforms have also emerged as important avenues for gaining temporary paid work and socio-economic mobility for low income individuals, women and migrant workers. Drawing on over five years of ethnographic research with a variety of stakeholders in the gig economy including workers, managers, consumers and regulators, my work shows how platformization produces heterogeneous effects on the lives, livelihoods and productive and reproductive capacities of different individuals in urban India. This talk will draw on multiple case studies of gig work to show these heterogeneous effects and how everyday technology practice also informs platform design in return. I will also offer some considerations for HCI scholars looking to study the effects of emerging technologies in global South settings.
About: Noopur Raval is a postdoctoral researcher at the AI Now Institute and an adjunct professor at the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University. She received her PhD in Informatics from UC Irvine in 2020 and is a tech ethnographer and interdisciplinary scholar at the intersection of HCI, Communication and Media Studies, Cultural Anthropology and Postcolonial History. She has written extensively on gig work, platformization and the future of work in the global South. Her new work extends to studying the cultural labor and subjective decision-making by global South data annotators in order to train AI/ML systems. Her work has appeared in CSCW, CHI, ACM Interactions among other venues. She has also worked in UX research at multiple Microsoft Research labs. Noopur is an alumna of the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and the Center for Tech, Society and Policy at UC Berkeley.