What do the use of surveillance technologies, the operation of platforms as a business model and food delivery workers on digital platforms have in common?
On Feb. 25, from 4 to 5:30 p.m., in room 519 Kaneff Tower, Julie Yujie Chen, an assistant professor in the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and the Faculty of Information at the University Toronto, will give a talk addressing this question. Chen will explore how the use of surveillance technologies, the operation of platforms as a business model and a shift in cultural expectations for on-demand service provision has transformed food delivery workers on digital platforms into a “just-in-time” labour force.
Chen will frame her remarks based on an ethnographic study of food delivery workers in China. Chen will explore the multiple aspects of how couriers experience and live their time as they struggle to meet exacting delivery times that are imposed and monitored by platforms through tracking technologies.
Chen’s talk is presented by the Institute for Research on Digital Learning. She studies how culture, digital technologies and established economic structures shape the experience and perception of work. She is the lead author of Super-sticky WeChat and Chinese Society (Emerald Points, 2018). Her previous work has published in the New Media & Society, the Chinese Journal of Communication and TripleC.
More about the Institute for Research on Digital Learning
The Institute for Research on Digital Learning (IRDL) has a broad mandate to engage in systematic inquiry, discussion, and information sharing related to the uses of technology in teaching and learning by encouraging the formation of links with faculty members across the university and with schools, government, and industry to provide collaborative, multidisciplinary approaches to research problems and issues.
Originally established in 1987 within the Faculty of Education as the Centre for the Study of Computers in Education, the Institute became a university-based research unit in June 2001 and was re-named The Institute for Research on Learning Technologies (IRLT). Ron Owston directed the Institute for 25 years.
In 2013 Jennifer Jenson, Professor of Pedagogy and Technology in the Faculty of Education at York University took over as Director of IRLT. The name was officially changed to IRDL in 2014.
In 2019 Natalie H. Coulter replaced Jen as the Acting Director of IRDL.