The Global South has become a hotbed for investment and experimentation for technology companies. Labour platforms like Uber, GoJek, Didi, and Amazon Mechanical Turk act as significant players in creating the future of work for workers. The ‘emerging markets’ of the Global South are seen as good, viable opportunities for investors and entrepreneurs to experiment with new platform models, in economies that have been defined by informality. In the Global North, precarity and casualization have been a defining feature of the effect of labour platforms on workers.
There has in general been a failure, on the part of scholars and politicians, to look beneath the superficial similarities between the forms of precarization newly arriving in the Global North and those that are a long-established feature of labour markets in the Global South. What does the experience of precarity mean for a worker brought up in the expectation of a secure, permanent job, with a defined occupational identity, guaranteed benefits and the prospect of a pension at the end of working life? And how does this compare with the experience of a worker from a household in which informal work is the norm, embedded in a community where most other workers are also informally employed, shaped by long-established cultural traditions and social practices? This chapter introduces the questions that this book seeks to answer and the chapters that take these questions head on.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Tax calculation will be finalised at checkout
Purchases are for personal use onlyLearn about institutional subscriptions
Arora, P. (2019). The Next Billion Users. Harvard University Press.
Barbrook, R., & Andy, C. (2009). The Californian Ideology. 6(1), 44–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/09505439609526455
Bonnin, J. (2019). How Digital Health Platform 1DOC3 Exploits the Global South. Diggit Magazine. https://www.diggitmagazine.com/column/1doc3-exploits-global-south
Breman, J. (2013). A Bogus Concept? New Left Review, 84, 130–138. https://newleftreview.org/issues/II84/articles/janbreman-a-bogus-concept
Chen, J. Y., & Qiu, J. L. (2019). Digital Utility: Datafication, Regulation, Labor, and DiDi’s Platformization of Urban Transport in China. Chinese Journal of Communication, May, 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1080/17544750.2019.1614964
Hart, K. (2009). On the Informal Economy: The Political History of an Ethnographic Concept. CEB Working Papers, 9(42), 1–22.
Huws, U., Hurstfield, J., & Holtmaat, R. (1989). What Price flexibility? The Casualisation of Women’s Employment. Low Pay Unit, 56.
Jessop, B. (1995). The regulation approach, governance and post-Fordism, economy and society. Blackwell Publishing.
Kordunsky, A. (2017). In Africa, a Broadband Boom. Columbia Business School Ideas and Insights. https://www8.gsb.columbia.edu/articles/ideas-work/africa-broadband-boom
Marglin, S. A., & Schor, J. B. (1992). The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience. In Stephen A. Marglin and Juliet B. Schor (Eds.), The Golden Age of Capitalism: Reinterpreting the Postwar Experience, 1–45. https://econpapers.repec.org/RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198287414
Rossotto, C. M., Lal Das, P., Ramos, E. G., Miranda, E. C., Badran, M. F., Licetti, M. M., & Murciego, G. M. (2018). Digital Platforms: A Literature Review and Policy Implications for Development. Competition and Regulation in Network Industries, 19(1–2), 93–109. https://doi.org/10.1177/1783591718809485
Singh, R. (2019). Give Me a Database and I Will Raise the Nation-State. South Asia: Journal of South Asia Studies 42(3), 501–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2019.1602810
Standing, G. (2011). The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury.
Tsao, A. (2018). Adventure Capital: Why Investors Have Growing Interest in New and Emerging Markets. Lavca. https://lavca.org/2018/04/02/adventure-capital-why-investors-have-growing-interest-in-new-andemerging-markets/
World Bank Group. (2019). CHANGING NATURE OF WORK A World Bank Group Flagship Report WORLD DEVELOPMENT REPORT. http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/816281518818814423/pdf/2019-WDRReport.pdf
Editors and Affiliations
© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG
About this chapter
Cite this chapter
Surie, A., Huws, U. (2023). Platformization and Informality: Pathways of Change, Alteration, and Transformation. In: Surie, A., Huws, U. (eds) Platformization and Informality . Dynamics of Virtual Work. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-11462-5_1
Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
Print ISBN: 978-3-031-11461-8
Online ISBN: 978-3-031-11462-5