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Introduction

Chapter
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Part of the Dynamics of Virtual Work book series (DVW)

Abstract

Compared with assembling engines, hairdressing or care work, digital work is clearly less place-bound. This makes possible new constellations of space for all kinds of work that rely heavily on information and communication technology (ICT). While it is argued that digital work can be done anywhere, labour, as with all human activities, always ‘takes place’ in particular localities. These localities are far from being evenly distributed in geographic space; there is thus no ‘areal uniformity’ (Graham 1998). Rather, activities in the internet age are actually more and more clustered in ‘nodal landing places’(Castells 2010) of transnational networks. Thus, while remote and mobile digital work are the result of the tendency to free work from particular places, closer scrutiny reveals that place and distance keep up their importance, giving rise to new, more complicated spatial dynamics in the organization of work (Swyngedouw 1993). Digital businesses and work in the current political economy do show particular historical spatial fixes of capital valorisation (Harvey 1982) even though the dynamics and fluidity may be much higher than in other industries or epochs. This is to say that the combinations of capital, labour, occupational milieus, etc. in a particular location can be expected to be more transient and the ‘territorial embeddedness’ (Hess 2004) weaker than with other business activities. Still, as a starting point of analysing space, place and digital work we can assume that digital work is characterised by both ‘placelessness’ and stickiness, by both delocalisation and spatial concentration.

Keywords

Foreign Direct Investment Information Space International Division Transnational Network Labour Market Segmentation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ViennaViennaAustria

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