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Positioning Virtual Workers Within Space, Time, And Social Dynamics

J. Webster, K. Randle
Published 2016 · Sociology

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Virtual workers need careful definition in order to distinguish them from other types of ubiquitous digital labour. Drawing on a growing literature in this field, this introductory chapter suggests that virtual workers have three distinguishing features: they are spatially dispersed, they are precarious, and the boundaries in their lives—as well as our analytical boundaries—are being progressively dismantled. The chapter considers the class, gender, and race dynamics of virtual work, arguing that virtual workers are not classless, nor are they a new class. Their diversity makes them difficult to place and their likely class identity complex, but continuities with earlier forms of work are clearly apparent in virtual work.
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