Birth of ENDL, the European Network on Digital Labour
From all over Europe, researchers in the emergent field of digital labour assembled in Paris for the launch event of ENDL, the European Network on Digital Labour.
Eighteen sociologists, economists, geographers, media scholars were in the French capital to participate in the European Network on Digital Labour kickoff workshop (ENDL-1). Convened by the SES Department of Telecom ParisTech (unit of the Interdisciplinary institute for innovation i3), the meeting took place at the Maison Internationale on Februrary 21, 2017.
Jamie Woodcock (@jamie_woodcock)
- Sociologist, currently at LSE, London.
- Ethnography research on practices of resistance.
- Published a book on work in call centers, and is currently researching workers’ activism at Deliveroo and Twitch.
Camille Alloing (@CaddeReputation)
- Associate Professor in communication studies, University of Poitiers.
- Upcoming book on affective digital labor, or how emotions and affections generate economic value.
Kylie Jarrett (@kylzjarrett)
- Political economist at Maynooth University, Ireland.
- Recent book on feminism, labour and digital media (“the digital housewife”).
- Currently researching work on platforms especially in Dublin area.
- Sociologist of work, University Diderot Paris.
- Authored a prominent book on consumer’s work (2008)
- Convenor of a working group on digital platforms & work in Paris.
- Sociologist / communication scientist at University of Paris 8.
- Research on free software developers, influence of free software movement.
- Exploring linkages with digital labor and diversity of definitions of digital labor.
Gina Neff (@ginasue)
- Recently joined the Oxford Internet Institute.
- Introduced the influential notion of “venture labor”; new book on self-tracking.
- Ongoing project on workers’ collaborative sense-making and creativity.
Ursula Huws (@COSTIS1202)
- Authoritative books on the “cybertariat” and work in the global digital economy.
- Coordinated the European COST action Virtual Work.
- Current empirical work on scale and dynamics of the gig economy in Europe.
- Sociologist of work, University of Louvain-la-Neuve.
- Studies workers’ organization and change in employment in the digital economy.
- Is interested in developing new research at meso (sectoral) level.
Yann Moulier-Boutang (@boutangyann)
- Major contribution to the notion of cognitive capitalism, in particular as related to artificial intelligence and human labor.
- Other topics: conflict, regulation, and the slavery-to-wage transition.
- Current work to detect emergence of questions and topics in Reddit.
Nikos Smyrnaios (@smykos)
- Communication studies, University of Toulouse.
- New book on the political economy of tech giants (“the GAFAM”).
- Another topic is the transformation of journalism in the digital era.
- Sociologist of work, PI of the CAPLA research project on platform capitalism.
- Studies platforms as subcontracting devices, and their effects on employment.
- Has researched the French “auto-entrepreneur” (a case of self-employment) regime.
Jen Schradie (@schradie)
- Sociologist, at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Toulouse.
- Has studied the links between digital activism, inequalities, and the digital divide.
- Upcoming Harvard University Press book, she discusses digital labor and politics.
Antonio Casilli (@AntonioCasilli)
- Sociologist at Telecom ParisTech, studies social conflict and digital rights.
- Has published books in digital sociology, a recent one providing an overview (in French) of the field of digital labour.
- Working on a new book on digital labour, and a digital platform labour research chair.
Mark Graham (@geoplace)
- Economic geographer, at the Oxford Internet Institute.
- Studies the gig economy in the Global South.
- Writes about global networks of solidarity, competition and collaboration between workers.
Paola Tubaro (@ptubaro)
- Economic sociologist, at CNRS-Paris.
- Current research on the collaborative economy of internet platforms – mapping values, norms and life trajectories.
- New research: digital labor and ‘foodtech’ sector; collaborative online health communities.
Karen Gregory (@claudiakincaid)
- Sociologist at the University of Edinburgh, where she teaches and researches digital sociology.
- Studies emotional labor and entrepreneurialism.
- Research on forms of solidarity in the ‘sharing economy’.
Remote ENDL-1 participants
Tiziana Terranova (@synthesiastica)
- Theorist focussing on the effects of ICTs on work and commons
- Influential research on free labour in online cultural industries.
- (Not able to attend in person because caught in an anti-Uber taxi strike, which is the ultimate irony…).
- Economist at the University Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne
- Several publications on cognitive capitalism and knowledge economy.
ENDL is an academic network to share ideas and awareness of a range of different theoretical, epistemological and empirical approaches to the topic of work, employment, and conflict in the digital economy. Participants operate collectively to give more visibility to the field of digital labour: meetings, conferences, projects, joint publications.
ENDL also aims at provide theoretical clarifications as to the multiple definitions and nuances of the notions of “digital labour”, “virtual work”, “consumer work”, “affective labour”, “free labour” etc. A number of concrete resources have been implemented as a result of the workshop. A repository of literature and references (through a Zotero working group), a shared document to develop a glossary of relevant terms (on Framapad), and a mindmap of areas of research in the field. Participants are invited to contribute in the weeks to come, and to diffuse the results to their colleagues and students.
The Maison Internationale in Paris, venue of the 1st ENDL workshop (Feb. 21, 2017)
Participants of the 1st ENDL workshop (Feb. 21, 2017)
The network is open to academics and non-academics interested in helping advance the ENDL research agenda. Participants to this first workshop form a core of researchers actively working to recruit more participants and to consolidate the field. In this perspective, some activities will be undertaken jointly. Members will also work to develop smaller-scale initiatives at local level.
Local events are already scheduled: a London Digital Labour meetup (March 30, 2017), and two Paris conferences in April featuring invited speakers Sarah T. Roberts (UCLA) and Mary L. Gray (Microsoft research) (more information to come soon). Further meetings will be held in future, to share research ideas and results, and to discuss further actions. An ENDL-2 workshop is planned in autumn 2017 at the University of Edinburgh (to be confirmed).
A Twitter account (@ENDL_Official) is in place. A mailing list has also being created to share upcoming event inormation and discuss future directions. The mailing list welcomes academics and members of the general public interested in work, digital platforms, media, and related topics.