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Metaphors of Free Labor: A Typology of Unpaid Work in the Media Sector
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6309-2315
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8497-3381
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Centre for HumanIT. Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4286-7764
2015 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last decade, free labor has emerged as a key analytical tool for understanding new or semi-new forms of labor in the contemporary digital economy. This paper critiques and develops this concept, with specific reference to work in the media industries, by presenting a historically grounded typology of free labor that also highlights some of the analytical problems with the current use of the concept. Our typology presents eight metaphors of free labor based on historical instances of roles people have taken on when performing unpaid labor: those of The Slave, The Carer, The Apprentice, The Prospector, The Hobbyist, The Volunteer, The Agent and The Patsy. A key conclusion is that free labor is performed by different actors at either end of increasingly complex and temporally stretched out value chains. This should motivate, or so we argue, a more fine-grained scholarly use of the concept of free labor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keywords [en]
Free labor, metaphors, typology, work, media, value
National Category
Humanities Social Sciences
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-36104OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-36104DiVA, id: diva2:814719
Conference
ICA 65th Annual Conference: Communication Across the Life-Span, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 21-25
Available from: 2015-05-28 Created: 2015-05-28 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Fast, KarinÖrnebring, HenrikKarlsson, Michael

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf