Precarity and Dependence in the "Sharing" Economy

Lecture | November 16 | 4-6 p.m. | 2521 Channing Way (Inst. for Res. on Labor & Employment), IRLE Director's Room

 Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College

 Ruth Berins Collier, Professor of Political Science, UC Berkeley; Annette Bernhardt, Director, Low-Wage Work Program, The Labor Center at IRLE

 Institute of Research on Labor & Employment, The Scholars Strategy Network

The sharing economy debuted to grand claims about its ability to change the world for the good--it would encourage social connection, use assets more efficiently, and be better for the environment. For earners on platforms, it promised flexibility, freedom and the ability to become a "micro-entrepreneur." Ten years in, the reality is far more complex. In this talk, Schor discusses her interview-based research with workers on six platforms, and argues that contrary to the expectations of both boosters and critics, outcomes are highly diverse, and depend to a large extent on workers' non-platform economic situations. The discussion will be moderated by Annette Bernhardt from the UC Berkeley Labor Center and Professor Ruth Collier from the UC Berkeley Political Science Department, and will be followed by a reception.

Please register to secure your spot.

Juliet Schor is a sociologist at Boston College. Her work focuses on consumer society, sustainable consumption, new economies, and overwork. A former Guggenheim Fellow, she has served as a consultant to the United Nations.

Ruth Berins Collier teaches political science at UC Berkeley. Her research, across Latin America, Africa, and Europe, has focused on popular participation, political regime change, and labor politics.

Annette Bernhardt directs the Low-Wage Work Program at IRLE’s Labor Center. She focuses on domestic outsourcing, the gig economy, and the impact of new technologies on low-wage work.

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