Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury
Sabyasachi Basu Ray Chaudhury has been working on labor in the platform economy of India for the last few months. New digital technologies, including smartphones and applications (apps), brought about a surge of hope when the world economy was in the crucible of desperation on account of the global financial crisis. The adoption of digital technologies started generating new platforms to hire workers, enabling sea changes in the nature of work. The rise in platform-mediated forms of work, clearly distinguishable from traditional in-person services, has permitted the creation of powerful monopoly operators that mediate and thereby extract value in the relationship between the customer and the service provider. In a country like India, the COVID-19 pandemic forced these workers to face an unenviable choice between hunger and infection. In this scenario, Chaudhury intends to explore the asymmetric power relations between the platforms and service providers in an algorithmically controlled labor process.