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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.
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8497-3381
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Geography, Media and Communication.
2016 (English)In: Media Culture and Society, ISSN 0163-4437, E-ISSN 1460-3675, Vol. 38, no 7, 963-978 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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 article 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 seven 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, 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 necessitates a more fine-grained and historicized use of the concept of free labor.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2016. Vol. 38, no 7, 963-978 p.
Keyword [en]
Free labor, media industries, metaphors, typology, value, work
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42301DOI: 0163443716635861ISI: 000384457400001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42301DiVA: diva2:930304
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-12-07Bibliographically approved

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Fast, KarinÖrnebring, HenrikKarlsson, Michael
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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
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
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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