The Gig Economy and Digital Outsourcing

Our research in this area explores impacts of the ‘gig economy’ and digital outsourcing for workers, businesses, and virtual production networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.

We do this by interviewing and surveying online freelancers, call/contact centre workers, and digital business owners in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.

This will help us to better understand whether new digital practices taking root in Sub-Saharan Africa offer a significant departure from previous opportunities that have been available to people, or whether we are simply seeing new forms of exploitation now made possible by efficient communication technologies.

Publications

Graham, M., Hjorth, I., Lehdonvirta, V. 2017. Digital labour and development: impacts of global digital labour platforms and the gig economy on worker livelihoods. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research.

Graham, M., Lehdonvirta, V., Wood, A., Barnard, H., Hjorth, I., and Simon, D. P. The Risks and Rewards of Online Gig Work At the Global Margins. Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute.

Graham, M. and Wood, A. 2017. How to resist the exploitation of digital gig workersRed Pepper. Apr 14, 2017

Graham, M. 2016. Let’s make platform capitalism more accountableNew Internationalist. Dec 13, 2016

Graham, M. and Wood, A. 2016. Why the digital gig economy needs co-ops and unions. openDemocracy. Sept 15, 2016

Graham, M. 2016. Digital work marketplaces impose a new balance of power. New Internationalist.May 25, 2016

Graham, M. 2016. Organising the Digital “Wild West”: Can Strategic Bottlenecks Help Prevent a Race to the Bottom for Online Workers? Union Solidarity International. May 11, 2016 (also translated into Turkish)

Graham, M. 2016. Digital Work and the Global Precariat. Union Solidarity International. Mar 30, 2016

Graham, M. 2015. Digital Work Signals a Global Race to the Bottom. SciDevNet Sept 15, 2015

Latest on the Gig Economy and Digital Outsourcing

Digital Labour at Economic Margins: African Workers and the Global Information Economy. (Forthcoming Publication)

Digital Labour at Economic Margins: African Workers and the Global Information Economy. (Forthcoming Publication)

I have a new publication coming out soon in the Review of African Political Economy, with my colleague Mark Graham ...
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Hidden Transcripts of the Gig Economy: Labour Agency and the New Art of Resistance among African Gig Workers. (New Publication)

Hidden Transcripts of the Gig Economy: Labour Agency and the New Art of Resistance among African Gig Workers. (New Publication)

I have a new publication out with my colleague Amir Anwar that draws on the years of research we have ...
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Call for papers: Digital Work in the Planetary Market (AAG 2020)

Call for papers: Digital Work in the Planetary Market (AAG 2020)

Call for papers: Digital Work in the Planetary Market Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers Denver, Colorado April ...
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Coming soon... The Gig Economy A Critical Introduction

Coming soon… The Gig Economy A Critical Introduction

I’m very happy to announce the first sharable details about my new forthcoming book (co-authored with Jamie Woodcock). The book ...
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Mapping the Availability of Online Labour in 2019

Mapping the Availability of Online Labour in 2019

In previous blog posts, we’ve mapped the availability of online labour in  [1] and in [2] using the data provided ...
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New Article: Does economic upgrading lead to social upgrading in contact centers? Evidence from South Africa.

New Article: Does economic upgrading lead to social upgrading in contact centers? Evidence from South Africa.

Mark Graham and I have just published a new article in the African Geographical Review. The article's main argument is ...
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