Global judgements and ideas.
Humans and machines at work: monitoring, surveillance and automation in contemporary capitalism edited by Phoebe Moore, Martin Upchurch and Xanthe Whittaker.
This edited collection is now in production/press (Palgrave, Dynamics of Virtual Work series editors Ursula Huws and Rosalind Gill). This is the results of the symposium I organised for last year’s International Labour Process Conference (ILPC). We are so fortunate to have 9 women and 3 men authors from all over the world including Chinese University Hong Kong, Harvard, WA University St Louis, Milan, Sheffield, Lancaster, King’s College, Greenwich, and Middlesex researchers, two trade unionists from UNI Global Union and Institute for Employment Rights, early career and more advanced contributors.
In the era of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, we increasingly work with machines in both cognitive and manual workplaces. This collection provides a series of accounts of workers’ local experiences that reflect the ubiquity of work’s digitalisation. Precarious gig economy workers ride bikes and drive taxis in China and Britain; domestic workers’ timekeeping and movements are documented; call centre workers in India experience invasive tracking but creative forms of worker subversion are evident; warehouse workers discover that hidden data has been used for layoffs; academic researchers see their labour obscured by a ‘data foam’ that does not benefit us; and journalists suffer the algorithmic curse. These cases are couched in historical accounts of identity and selfhood experiments seen in the Hawthorne experiments and the lineage of automation. This collection will appeal to scholars in the sociology of work and digital labour studies and anyone interested in learning about monitoring and surveillance, automation, the gig economy and quantified self in workplaces.
Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Introduction. Phoebe Moore, Martin Upchurch, Xanthe Whittaker
Chapter 2: Digitalisation of work and resistance. Phoebe Moore, Pav Akhtar, Martin Upchurch
Chapter 3: Deep automation and the world of work. Martin Upchurch, Phoebe Moore
Chapter 4: There is only one thing in life worse than being watched, and that is not being watched: Digital data analytics and the reorganisation of newspaper production. Xanthe Whittaker
Chapter 5: The electronic monitoring of care work – the redefinition of paid working time. Sian Moore and L. J. B. Hayes
Chapter 6: Social recruiting: control and surveillance in a digitised job market. Alessandro Gandini and Ivana Pais
Chapter 7: Close watch of a distant manager: Multisurveillance by transnational clients in Indian call centres. Winifred R. Poster
Chapter 8: Hawthorne’s renewal: Quantified total self. Rebecca Lemov
Chapter 9: ‘Putting it together, that’s what counts’: Data foam, a Snowball and researcher evaluation. Penny C. S. Andrews
Chapter 10: Technologies of control, communication, and calculation: Taxi drivers’ labour in the platform economy. Julie Yujie Chen