Out of sight, out of mind? (In)visibility of/in platform-mediated work

Katarzyna Gruszka, Madeleine Böhm

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Downloads (Pure)


With platforms accounting for 1–3% of paid work in advanced economies, discussions on their impact on labor are proliferating. Focusing on commercial platforms providing intermediation to a workforce available on-demand, we further systematize the field by approaching platform-mediated work through the lens of (in)visibility. We map four basic forms of platform-mediated work against three variations of (in)visibility: (1) perceptible, (2) institutional, and (3) individual, and discuss the implications through the stories of three protagonists of platform workers. The suggested meta-analysis tool for understanding the mechanism of rendering platform workers obscure exposes who is recognized as a worker, what is recognized as work, and how these questions are negotiated in a platform-mediated digital space. As such, the framework provides a joint space for the discussions of the core issues of the field—from regulation and uncertainties of platform employment, through exacerbating vulnerabilities of workers, to surveillance and self-governance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1 - 20
JournalNew Media & Society (NMS)
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 506014 Comparative politics
  • 502027 Political economy
  • 502
  • 508
  • 504030 Economic sociology
  • 504
  • 502001 Labour market policy
  • 509

Cite this