Dr Funda Ustek-Spilda a postdoctoral researcher and project manager on the Fairwork project at the Oxford Internet Institute.Her background is in sociology, with thematic focuses in labour, migration and gender. Her research examined the reasons and implications of being counted and not being counted in data, from the perspectives of ethics, responsibility and fairness.
She holds a DPhil from the University of Oxford (St. Cross College) in Sociology (2015) as a Professor Anthony Heath & St. Cross College Scholarship holder and MSc in Comparative Social Policy (2010) (St. Edmund Hall) as an Ahmet Ertegun – Bogazici University scholar. In her doctoral thesis, she studied survival strategies of women workers in Turkey as they navigated various jobs in the informal labour market.Before joining Fairwork, she previously held a postdoctoral researcher position at ARITHMUS: How data make a people based at Goldsmiths, University of London, Department of Sociology (2014-2018); and VIRT-EU: Values and Ethics in Innovation for Responsible Technology in Europe, based at the London School of Economics, Department of Media and Communications (2018-2019).
Her current work with the Fairwork project explores and aims to improve working conditions for platform workers in India and other partnership countries. She is interested in studying the relationship between autonomous decision-making systems that assign, allocate, govern and control workers’ lives in platform economy and workers’ resistance strategies for fair work.