Marialaura Birgillito

Capital and Labour in Times of "Floating Signifiers". The (False) Debate on the "New Economy" in the Uber Case

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract


This article sets out to examine how recent transformation technologies have modified society and social patterns. The new approach, the "new economy" model, hinges upon a new paradigm of relationships between "users" in the digital economy, based on the independent contractor status. This article focuses on the working relationships in the Uber case and on the working conditions of its "riders", who are nevertheless workers. Moreover, the analysis wants to go in depth into their legal qualification, their working conditions, and the level of control exerted by the platform. The aim is to verify whether "independent" relationships between "actors" are part of the "4.0 revolution" and of the opportunities it reportedly offers in terms of wealth, or whether they are rather a legal way to escape labour law standards and regulation. These arguments could lead to the conclusion that the practice implemented in the case examined is fraudulent. They could also entail that the approaches aimed at reshaping the traditional paradigms of labour in the new economy are not acceptable, at least in the Uber case, as this article attempts to demonstrate.

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