|8 Mar 2022|
Online seminar and lecture by Dr. Lizzie Richardson
Tue, 8th March 2022
Organizers: Ignacia Arteaga, Debangana Bose, Katarzyna Cieslik, Juan Del Nido
Much social science research has pointed out the problems, and to a lesser extent, the possibilities of work through digital platforms. This seminar addresses the same topic of platforms and work but takes a different point of departure. Instead of foregrounding challenges to the employment relationship posed by certain configurations of platforms and work, the talk asks how platforms shape the spatial relations of work, or how platforms constitute workplaces. Drawing on the examples of food delivery and office work in the UK, the seminar will show how the platformization of work results in flexible spatial arrangements of working activity. Digital technologies tend less to divide space according to a specific function (i.e. work-life division), and more to create spaces of coordination that can adjust the definition of purposeful activity. Beginning with questions of space and place – and thus understanding that “the workplace” is a shifting geographical and historical construction – allows a decentring of the normative relationship between employer and employee in favour of a more positive or descriptive approach that outlines how the boundaries of work and life are changing with contemporary technologies and with what consequences.
Lizzie is a Junior Professor in the Department of Human Geography and LaSST (Lab for Studies of Science and Technology) at Goethe University, Frankfurt. Much of her current research examines the relationships between technology and the geographies of economy through an empirical focus on changing configurations of work space. She has previously held research and teaching positions at the University of Sheffield, Durham University and the University of Cambridge. Her research has been funded by the Leverhulme Trust, RGS-IBG and the ESRC.