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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).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, 1-16 p., 0163443716635861Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
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. 1-16 p., 0163443716635861
Keyword [en]
Free labor, media industries, metaphors, typology, value, work
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Media and Communication Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42301DOI: 0163443716635861OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42301DiVA: diva2:930304
Available from: 2016-05-23 Created: 2016-05-23 Last updated: 2016-06-14Bibliographically approved

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Fast, KarinÖrnebring, HenrikKarlsson, Michael
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Department of Geography, Media and CommunicationFaculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013)
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