Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-2qt69 Total loading time: 0.551 Render date: 2022-08-13T01:29:20.644Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

3 - Invisible Work, Visible Workers

Visibility Regimes in Online Platforms for Domestic Work

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 October 2020

Deepa Das Acevedo
Affiliation:
University of Alabama School of Law
Get access

Summary

Online care platforms have become major brokers of informal paid caregiving in the U.S., alongside a patchwork of agencies, informal networks, and online job boards. While domestic carework has been considered a paradigmatic example of “invisible” work, platforms like Care.com emphasize workers’ online visibility – through self-branding and online identity management – as key to a successful job search. Based on interviews with careworkers and a content analysis of company materials, we find that careworkers negotiate overlapping and conflicting “visibility regimes,” which are constructed by platforms, and other social institutions that shape their job searches. While some leverage the individualized visibility of platforms as a vehicle for building a “caring brand,” others find themselves lost in a sea of search results that flatten important professional distinctions. We argue that this complicates policy assumptions that pose increased visibility as a solution for invisible or undervalued work. Instead, these new forms of online scrutiny serve platforms’ interests in making workers legible to clients. As careworkers’ livelihoods become more closely intertwined with the decisions, design, and policies enacted by platform companies, more attention should be paid to their legal and ethical responsibilities for working against entrenched inequalities within the industry.

Type
Chapter
Information
Beyond the Algorithm
Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation
, pp. 57 - 81
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2020

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Adler-Bell, Sam and Miller, Michelle. “The Datafication of Employment.” The Century Foundation, December 19, 2018. https://tcf.org/content/report/datafication-employment-surveillance-capitalism-shaping-workers-futures-without-knowledge/.Google Scholar
Ajunwa, Ifeoma, and Greene, Daniel. “Platforms at Work: Automated Hiring Platforms and Other New Intermediaries in the Organization of Work.” In Vallas, Steven P., and Kovalainen, Anne. Work and Labor in the Digital Age. Emerald Group Publishing, 2019: 6191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ajunwa, Ifeoma, Crawford, Kate, and Schultz, Jason. “Limitless Worker Surveillance.” California Law Review 105, no. 3 (2017): 735776.Google Scholar
Brown, Kenneth, and Korczynski, Marek. “When Caring and Surveillance Technology Meet: Organizational Commitment and Discretionary Effort in Home Care Work.” Work and Occupations 37, no. 3 (2010): 404432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bureau of Labor Force Statistics (2017) Fastest growing occupations, occupational outlook handbook. www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm.Google Scholar
Burnham, Linda, and Theodore, Nik. “Home Economics: The Invisible and Unregulated World of Domestic Work.” 2012. www.2016.domesticworkers.org/homeeconomics/.Google Scholar
Center for American Progress, “Mapping America’s Child Care Deserts,” August 2017. www.americanprogress.org/issues/early-childhood/reports/2017/08/30/437988/mapping-americas-child-care-deserts/.Google Scholar
Charmaz, Kathy. Constructing Grounded Theory. Second edition. SAGE Publications Ltd, 2014.Google Scholar
Collins, Patricia Hill. “Toward a New Vision: Race, Class, and Gender as Categories of Analysis and Connection.” Race, Sex & Class 1, no. 1 (1993): 2545.Google Scholar
Corbin, Juliet, Strauss, Anselm, and Strauss, Anselm L.. Basics of Qualitative Research. SAGE Publications Ltd, 2015.Google Scholar
Citron, Danielle Keats, and Pasquale, Frank. “The Scored Society: Due Process for Automated Predictions.” Washington Law Review 89, no. 1 (2014): 133.Google Scholar
Crain, Marion, Poster, Winifred, and Cherry, Miriam. Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World. University of California Press, 2016.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Crawford, Kate, and Gillespie, Tarleton. “What Is a Flag for? Social Media Reporting Tools and the Vocabulary of Complaint.” New Media & Society 18, no. 3 (March 1, 2016): 410428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Daniels, Arlene Kaplan. “Invisible Work.” Social Problems 34, no. 5 (1987): 403415. https://doi.org/10.2307/800538.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duffy, Brooke Erin, and Hund, Emily. “Gendered Visibility on Social Media: Navigating Instagram’s Authenticity Bind.” International Journal of Communication 13 (2019): 49835002.Google Scholar
Duffy, Mignon. “Reproducing Labor Inequalities: Challenges for Feminists Conceptualizing Care at the Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class.” Gender & Society 19, no. 1 (2005): 6682.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Edelman, Benjamin, Luca, Michael, and Svirsky, Dan. “Racial Discrimination in the Sharing Economy: Evidence from a Field Experiment.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 9, no. 2 (April 2017): 122. https://doi.org/10.1257/app.20160213.Google Scholar
Ehrenreich, Barbara, and Hochschild, Arlie Russell. Global Woman: Nannies, Maids, and Sex Workers in the New Economy. Henry Holt and Company, 2004.Google Scholar
Ert, Eyal, Fleischer, Aliza, and Magen, Nathan. “Trust and Reputation in the Sharing Economy: The Role of Personal Photos on Airbnb.” SSRN Scholarly Paper. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network, January 1, 2016. https://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=2624181.Google Scholar
Farrell, Michael. “Care.com, the Big Business of Babysitting.” BostonGlobe.com, August 14, 2014. www.bostonglobe.com/magazine/2014/08/14/care-com-big-business-babysitting/4Fjpf5q3YUSw3rMn9GraOM/story.html.Google Scholar
Flanagan, Frances. “Theorizing the Gig Economy and Home-Based Service Work.” Journal of Industrial Relations 61, no. 1 (2019): 5778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Flyverbom, Mikkel, Leonardi, Paul M., Stohl, Cynthia, and Stohl, Michael. “The Management of Visibilities in the Digital Age.” International Journal of Communication 10 (2016): 98109.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. Vintage Books, 1995.Google Scholar
Gilliom, John. “Struggling with Surveillance: Resistance, Consciousness, and Identity.” In The New Politics of Surveillance and Visibility, edited by Haggerty, Kevin D. and Ericson, Richard Victor, 111129. University of Toronto Press, 2006.Google Scholar
Gilman, Michele, and Green, Rebecca. “The Surveillance Gap: The Harms of Extreme Privacy and Data Marginalization.” New York University Review of Law & Social Change 42 (2018): 253307.Google Scholar
Glenn, Evelyn Nakano. “From Servitude to Service Work: Historical Continuities in the Racial Division of Paid Reproductive Labor.” Signs 18, no. 1 (1992): 143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gray, Mary L., and Suri, Siddharth. Ghost Work: How to Stop Silicon Valley from Building a New Global Underclass. Eamon Dolan Books, 2019.Google Scholar
Gray, Mary L., Suri, Siddharth, Ali, Syed Shoaib, and Kulkarni, Deepti. “The Crowd Is a Collaborative Network.” In Proceedings of the 19th ACM conference on computer-supported cooperative work & social computing, 134147. ACM, 2016.Google Scholar
Grind, Kirsten, Zuckerman, Gregory and Shifflett, Shane. “Care.Com Puts Onus on Families to Check Caregivers’ Backgrounds – With Sometimes Tragic Outcomes.” Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2019, sec. Tech. www.wsj.com/articles/care-com-puts-onus-on-families-to-check-caregivers-backgroundswith-sometimes-tragic-outcomes-11552088138.Google Scholar
Harwell, Drew. “Wanted: The ‘Perfect Babysitter.’ Must Pass AI Scan for Respect and Attitude.” Washington Post, November 23, 2018, sec. The Switch. www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/11/16/wanted-perfect-babysitter-must-pass-ai-scan-respect-attitude/.Google Scholar
Hatton, Erin. “Mechanisms of Invisibility: Rethinking the Concept of Invisible Work.” Work, Employment and Society 31, no. 2 (April 2017): 336351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Heller, Nathan. “The Gig Economy Is Especially Susceptible to Sexual Harassment.” The New Yorker, January 25, 2018. www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-gig-economy-is-especially-susceptible-to-sexual-harassment.Google Scholar
Hochschild, Arlie Russell. The Managed Heart: Commercialization of Human Feeling. University of California Press, 2012.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hunt, Abigail, and Samman, Emma. “Gender and the Gig Economy: Critical Steps for Evidence-Based Policy.” Working paper. London, UK: Overseas Development Institute, 2019. https://apo.org.au/sites/default/files/resource-files/2019/01/apo-nid217091-1279081.pdf.Google Scholar
Irani, Lilly. “The Cultural Work of Microwork.” New Media & Society 17, no. 5 (2015): 720739.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lair, Craig D., MacLeod, Chad, and Budgar, Ethan. “Advertising Unreasonable Expectations: Nanny Ads on Craigslist.” Sociological Spectrum 36, no. 5 (2016): 286302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lyon, David. Surveillance Society: Monitoring Everyday Life. First Edition. Open University Press, 2001.Google Scholar
MacDonald, Cameron Lynne. “Ethnic Logics: Race and Ethnicity in Nanny Employment.” In Caring on the Clock: The Complexities and Contradictions of Paid Care Work, 153164. Rutgers University Press, 2015.Google Scholar
Otis, Eileen, and Zhao, Zheng. “Producing Invisibility: Surveillance, Hunger, and Work in the Produce Aisles of Wal-Mart, China.” In Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World, 148167. University of California Press, 2016.Google Scholar
Pager, Devah. Marked: Race, Crime, and Finding Work in an Era of Mass Incarceration. University of Chicago Press, 2008.Google Scholar
Perea, Juan F.The Echoes of Slavery: Recognizing the Racist Origins of the Agricultural and Domestic Worker Exclusion from the National Labor Relations Act.” Ohio State Law Journal 72 (2011): 95138.Google Scholar
Poster, Winifred R.Emotion Detectors, Answering Machines, and E-Unions: Multi-Surveillances in the Global Interactive Service Industry.” American Behavioral Scientist 55, no. 7 (July 1, 2011): 868901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pugh, Allison. “What Good Are Interviews for Thinking About Culture?American Journal of Cultural Sociology 1 (2013): 4268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Roberts, Sarah T. Behind the Screen: Content Moderation in the Shadows of Social Media. Yale University Press, 2019.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rosette, Asleigh Shelby, and Dumas, Tracy L.. “The Hair Dilemma: Conform to Mainstream Expectations or Emphasize Racial Identity Makeup, Identity Performance & Discrimination.” Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy 14, no. 1 (2007): 407422.Google Scholar
Schoenbaum, Naomi. “Gender and the Sharing Economy.” Fordham Urb. LJ 43 (2016): 10231070.Google Scholar
Schulte, Brigid and Durana, Alieza. “The Care Report,” New America, 2016, www.newamerica.org/in-depth/care-report/.Google Scholar
Shifflett, Shane and Grind, Kirsten. “Care.Com Removes Tens of Thousands of Unverified Listings.” Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2019, sec. Tech. www.wsj.com/articles/care-com-removes-tens-of-thousands-of-unverified-listings-11554040800.Google Scholar
Spradley, James P. The Ethnographic Interview. Waveland Press, 2016.Google Scholar
Ticona, Julia, and Mateescu, Alexandra. “Trusted Strangers: Carework Platforms’ Cultural Entrepreneurship in the On-Demand Economy.” New Media & Society 20, no. 11 (November 2018): 43844404. doi:10.1177/1461444818773727.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Doorn, Niels. “Platform Labor: On the Gendered and Racialized Exploitation of Low-Income Service Work in the ‘On-Demand’ Economy.” Information, Communication & Society 20, no. 6 (2017): 898914.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Van Oort, Madison. “The Emotional Labor of Surveillance: Digital Control in Fast Fashion Retail.” Critical Sociology, July 13, 2018, 0896920518778087. https://doi.org/10.1177/0896920518778087.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wingfield, Adia Harvey and Skeete, Renee, “Maintaining Hierarchies in Predominantly White Organizations: A Theory of Racial tasks as Invisible Labor,” In Crain, Marion, Poster, Winifred, and Cherry, Miriam. Invisible Labor: Hidden Work in the Contemporary World. University of California Press, 2016.Google Scholar
Zuboff, Shoshana. In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power. Reprint edition. Basic Books, 1989.Google Scholar
Zuboff, Shoshana. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. First Edition. PublicAffairs, 2019.Google Scholar
Zuckerman, Gregory, and Prang, Allison, “Care.com Founder to Step Down as CEO Months After WSJ Report,” Wall Street Journal, August 6, 2019. www.wsj.com/articles/care-com-founder-to-step-down-as-ceo-months-after-wsj-report-11565089901.Google Scholar
2
Cited by

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×