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  • Extracting Free Labour

    Patrick Cingolani

    Chapter from the book: Armano, E et al. 2022. Digital Platforms and Algorithmic Subjectivities.


    Since the second half of the 20th century, a reconfiguration of labour conditions has asserted itself within the capitalist system through a de-territorialisation of companies and an ever-increasing trend to outsource labour, either by sub-contracting or now through platforms and crowd-working. On the basis of an assessment of the neoliberal subversion of the labour category, this chapter proposes to monitor the wide range of methods through which the workforce is exploited in platform capitalism. In addition to the neo-pieceworkers of lean platforms, of which the control, monitoring, rating and disconnection procedures scarcely conceal a relationship of labour extraction that legal experts are increasingly redefining as subordination, specific systems that leverage amateurs are emerging, either from two-sided markets or from original forms of cooperation. The chapter concludes by discussing the possible political subjectivations of those who undergo these new experiences of labour and the professional nature of an economic activity.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Cingolani, P. 2022. Extracting Free Labour. In: Armano, E et al (eds.), Digital Platforms and Algorithmic Subjectivities. London: University of Westminster Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16997/book54.h

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial + NoDerivatives 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

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    Published on Nov. 1, 2022