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Digital Work in the Planetary Market

Book cover
Mark Graham and Fabian Ferrari

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Many jobs today can be done from anywhere. Digital technology and widespread internet connectivity allow almost anyone, anywhere, to connect to anyone else to communicate and interact at a planetary scale. This book examines the implications for both work and workers when jobs are commodified and traded beyond local labor markets. Going beyond the usual “world is flat” globalization discourse, contributors look at both the transformation of work itself and the wider systems, networks and processes that enable digital work in a planetary market, offering both empirical and theoretical perspectives.

The contributors — leading scholars and experts from a range of disciplines — touch on a variety of issues, including content moderation, autonomous vehicles and voice assistants. They first look at the new experience of work, finding that, despite its planetary connections, labor remains geographically sticky and embedded in distinct contexts. They go on to consider how planetary networks of work can be mapped and problematized, discuss the productive multiplicity and interdisciplinarity of thinking about digital work and its networks, and, finally, imagine how planetary work could be regulated.


Sana Ahmad, Payal Arora, Janine Berg, Antonio Casilli, Julie Chen, Christina Colclough, Fabian Ferrari, Mark Graham, Andreas Hackl, Matthew Hockenberry, Hannah Johnston, Martin Krzywdzinski, Johan Lindquist, Joana Moll, Brett Neilson, Usha Raman, Jara Rocha, Jathan Sadowski, Florian Alexander Schmidt, Cheryll Ruth Soriano, Nick Srnicek, James Steinhoff, JS Tan, Paola Tubaro, Moira Weigel, Lin Zhang

The editors

Headshot of Graham

Mark Graham

Mark Graham is Professor of Internet Geography at the Oxford Internet Institute and Faculty Fellow at the Alan Turing Institute. He is the editor of Digital Economies at Global Margins (MIT Press and IDRC, 2019).
Headshot of Ferrari

Fabian Ferrari

Fabian Ferrari is a doctoral candidate at the Oxford Internet Institute.