Toward a Political Economy of Platform Mediated Work

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101:3 (2020) Studies in Political Economy 185-207


Platform-mediated work, characterized as digital intermediation between workers and buyers of labour service, most famously exemplified by Uber, reveals how the transformation of the forces of production is reshaping relations of production. Using a political economy approach, this article takes us behind market exchanges between workers, platform operators, and clients to examine who extracts surplus value from workers, and how. It identifies two distinct models based on whether labour is performed locally on the ground or through the cloud.

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