PhD Student Youngrong Lee's Practicum Research on Heterogeneity of Gig Workers was published

December 1, 2021 by Emma Robins

Sociology PhD Student Youngrong Lee’s practicum research was recently published in Critical Sociology. Her research is titled “After a Global Platform Leaves: Understanding the Heterogeneity of Gig Workers through Capital Mobility”. This article outlines the importance of heterogeneity in understanding divergent worker subjectivities found in the case of capital mobility in the platform economy. Lee dives into the economic and social impacts upon gig workers, addressing both the financial and emotional connections these gig workers experience, as well as the workers' surfaced political views from the platforms' exit. The full article can be found here.

The abstract of the article is below:

“We know a great deal about global capital mobility in traditional industries, such as manufacturing, but very little about emerging capital mobility in the gig economy. Using the case of Canadian Foodora, a multinational platform that left Canada in 2020, I situate global capital mobility in the local labour market. Drawing upon interview data with former Foodora couriers and ethnographic data collected from a gig workers’ union, I investigate the social, economic and political subjectivities of gig workers activated by a global platform’s capital mobility. My findings reveal unexpected parallel effects caused by capital mobility in the gig economy and traditional industries. My research highlights how heterogeneity is salient for understanding divergent worker subjectivities. The economic and social impacts upon financially dependent gig workers and the emotional connections of devoted and organized gig workers challenge the dominant discourse that gig workers are simply part-timers and hence free from work commitments.”

Youngrong Lee is in her 3rd year of the PhD program. She previously completed her MA in Sociology at Syracuse University in the US. Her dissertation is titled “Comparative Study of Gig Work in Canada and South Korea”, Hae Yeon Choo and Yoonkyung Lee as dissertation committee members. Cynthia Cranford acts as her faculty supervisor. Youngrong’s areas of specialization are work and labour, gender, social movements, and platform economy.