Professor Marge Unt: “What do platforms do and how does it matter for precarity of platform workers?”

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Professor Marge Unt (Comparative Sociology and the Head of Institute of International Social Studies at Tallinn University) was invited for discussion her new research on platforms: What do platforms do and how does it matter for precarity of platform workers? as virtual seminar at Kent University (28th Jan 2021)

This research builds on the hybrid labour regime model (Vallas and Schor, 2020), which brings together focus on the institutional set-up in conjunction with the technological impact on labour processes. Professor Unt provided insights into techno-optimistic Tallinn, concentrating on Uber and Airbnb.

She argues this new hybrid labour regime accelerates precarity for those doing excessive hours of work and have a dependence on the platform. At the same time, it can also mitigate precarity for students, and others having social insurance from other sources. Platforms also do not have racial nor disability bias.

The COVID-19 crisis has accelerated further the precarity of fully platform dependent workers due to factors out of control for them like changes in algorithmic management and demand.

She drawn results from a comparative project Platform Labour in Urban Spaces ( and on approx. 45 interviews with Uber/Bolt drives, Airbnb hosts, and relevant stakeholders in Tallinn.

The target audience was Kent University staff and PhD students. With satisfactory results. Some PhD students contacted her after the seminar to stay in touch.

This networking action achieves dissemination action to obtain a wider audience following PLUS results.


For further info, please contact Marge Unt:

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