Spinning the Web: The Contradictions of Researching and Regulating Digital Work and Labour

  • Pamela Meil
Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)


This chapter tackles a number of debates surrounding the topic of virtual work, shedding light on the diverse discourses by focusing on three contradictory relationships characterizing virtual work: the compression of time and place vs. the global reach of virtual spaces; autonomy vs. control; and collaboration vs. competition. Developments in these three contradictory relationships are examined through two topics that represent traditional areas of analysis for the sociology of work: institutional embeddedness and labor markets and the question of how the complex division of labor and value capture in work in digital environments can be conceptually understood is addressed. The analysis shows how dis-embedded institutions and amorphous labor markets challenge the formulation of policy and regulation in light of the unbounded, poorly defined, and obfuscated character of virtual work.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pamela Meil
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Social Science Research (ISF Munich)MunichGermany

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