Why not Side Hustle? Fashion Reselling on Digital Labour Platforms

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch


Digital labour platforms, an increasing arrangement of precarious work, disintegrate worker rights primarily through the reclassification of employees to freelancers, who are exclusively responsible for securing and performing platformed tasks. This new world of work reframes making ends meet through granularized tasks and gigs as micro-entrepreneurship and hustling. Celebrated as economic ownership, hustling embodies an individualistic ideology where a “make do” attitude in the face of socio-economic hardships is the ultimate achievement of the neo-liberal subject. Drawing on in-depth ethnographic study of a fashion reselling platform located in the United States we illustrate how the platform commodifies the lifeworld of their primarily female participants. By situating this ‘digital hustle’, we illustrate the pathologies of such a work system, revealing the cycle through which the modularization of labour creates dependencies, which are then filled through increasingly modularized labour moments, leading to greater dependencies, and so on and so forth. Thus, we take up a precise STS issue of future concern, the changing nature of work, and the exploitive role labour platforms play in its pervasion into all aspects of the lifeworld.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventNordic Science and Technology Studies Conference 2021: STS and the Future as a Matter of Collective Concern - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 20 May 202121 May 2021


ConferenceNordic Science and Technology Studies Conference 2021
LocationCopenhagen Business School
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