Keynote Speaker

Dr. Kylie Jarrett

Associate Professor in the Department of Media Studies at Maynooth University, Ireland. She is author of the Digital Labor (2022) and Feminism, Labour and Digital Media: The Digital Housewife (2016) and co-author of #NSFW: Sex, Humor and Risk in Social Media (with Susanna Paasonen and Ben Light, 2019) and Google and the Culture of Search (with Ken Hillis and Michael Petit, 2013) as well as a wide range of articles exploring the commercial Web. She is also editor of the new journal Dialogues on Digital Society launching in 2024.

Keynote talk

Understanding Workers in the Platform Economy: The Case of the Etsy Strike

In April 2022, nearly 30,000 Etsy sellers, declared a strike, putting their stores into vacation mode for a week in protest against a substantial increase in fees by the retail platform. This strike, though, raises some complex and important questions about how to understand the range of actors working in the platform economy. Are Etsy traders workers? They are, formally, independent retailers or artisanal producers but their grievances in the strike echo those of other platforms workers, so what exactly are they? Relatedly, what is their class position – and how do we fit the strike into it? These are the questions this paper will systematically work through in order to understand the nature of Etsy traders’ labour. How to answer these questions is important as platform traders are an often overlooked part of the platform economy ecosystem. But it is also important because self-employment and entrepreneurialism via digital platforms is an increasing feature of the economy, demanding critical exploration of work beyond waged labour.