Oxford Internet Institute: ‘Gig Economy and Digital Outsourcing’ Research Group
The Oxford Internet Institute is a multidisciplinary research and teaching department of the University of Oxford, dedicated to the social science of the Internet.
The first focuses on the gig economy and digital outsourcing in Sub-Saharan Africa. They are attempting to understand the impacts of the ‘gig economy’ and digital outsourcing for workers, businesses, and virtual production networks in Sub-Saharan Africa. They do this by interviewing and surveying online freelancers, call/contact centre workers, and digital business owners in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana. This will help us to better understand whether new digital practices taking root in Sub-Saharan Africa offer a significant departure from previous opportunities that have been available to people, or whether we are simply seeing new forms of exploitation now made possible by efficient communication technologies.
The second focuses on online freelancing in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. The project specifically aims to understand the implications of online freelancing for economic development. Below are a few short publications written on the topic:
- Graham, M. and Wood, A. 2016. Why the digital gig economy needs co-ops and unions. openDemocracy. Sept 15, 2016
- Graham, M. 2016. Digital work marketplaces impose a new balance of power. New Internationalist.May 25, 2016
- Graham, M. 2016. Organising the Digital “Wild West”: Can Strategic Bottlenecks Help Prevent a Race to the Bottom for Online Workers? Union Solidarity International. May 11, 2016 (also translated into Turkish)
- Graham, M. 2016. Digital Work and the Global Precariat. Union Solidarity International. Mar 30, 2016
- Graham, M. 2015. Digital Work Signals a Global Race to the Bottom. SciDevNet Sept 15, 201