The Institute for Research on Digital Literacies
The Institute for Research on Digital Literacies

Surveillance technology and China’s just-in-time labor workers

February 25, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Kaneff Tower, 519
York University 4700 Keele St

A talk byJulie Yujie Chen (University of Toronto)

This talk examines how food delivery workers on digital platforms are transformed into “just-in-time” labor force because of the surveillance technologies, the operation of platforms as a business model, and a shifted cultural expectation for the on-demand service provision. Based on an ethnographic study of the food-delivery workers in China, Dr. Chen explores how a new temporal order has been normalized that shifts the customer’s cultural expectation to on-demand service at the expense of an increasingly hectic tempo for the workers.

Bio: Julie Yujie Chen is Assistant Professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology (ICCIT) and the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Dr. Chen studies how culture, digital technologies, and established economic structures shape the experience and perception of work. She is the lead author of Super-sticky WeChat and Chinese Society (2018). Her previous work has published in the New Media & Society, the Chinese Journal of Communication, and TripleC.