Public Programs And Events

After the Gig: how the sharing economy got hijacked

After the Gig: how the sharing economy got hijacked

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall
General Public 

A TALK BY JULIET SCHOR

When the “sharing economy” launched a decade ago, proponents claimed that it would transform the experience of work—giving earners flexibility, autonomy, and decent incomes. It was touted as a cure for social isolation and rampant ecological degradation. But this novel form of gig work soon sprouted a dark side: exploited Uber drivers, neighborhoods ruined by Airbnb, racial discrimination and rising carbon emissions. Several of the most prominent platforms are now faced with existential crises as they prioritize growth over fairness and long term viability. Based on nearly a decade of research, this talk will analyze what went wrong and discuss ways forward for platforms and workers that are capable of realizing the promises of the early days.

 

Juliet Schor is Professor of Sociology at Boston College. Schor is also a member of the MacArthur Foundation Connected Learning Research Network. Schor’s research focuses on consumption, time use, and environmental sustainability. A graduate of Wesleyan University, Schor received her Ph.D. in economics at the University of Massachusetts. Before joining Boston College, she taught at Harvard University for 17 years, in the Department of Economics and the Committee on Degrees in Women's Studies. Schor’s most recent books are Sustainable Lifestyles and the Quest for Plenitude: Case Studies of the New Economy (Yale University Press, 2014) which she co-edited with Craig Thompson, and True Wealth: How and Why Millions of Americans are Creating a Time-Rich, Ecologically Light, Small-Scale, High-Satisfaction Economy (2011 by The Penguin Press, previously published as Plenitude.)

 

Presented by Robert L. Heilbroner Center for Capitalism Studies at The New School.



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