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Charting Platform Capitalism: Definitions, concepts and ideologies

Liang, Yin and Aroles, Jeremy and Brandl, Bernd (2022) 'Charting Platform Capitalism: Definitions, concepts and ideologies.', New Technology, Work and Employment, 37 (2). pp. 308-327.


The term ‘platform capitalism’ captures a dynamic set of new work modalities that are mediated by platforms and have been brought about through advances in Information and Communication Technologies, adjustments in consumption modes and preferences, and changes in how work is conceived. Beyond work-related changes, the ascent of platform capitalism reflects wider societal, political as well as economic changes. While research on platform capitalism and its manifold manifestations abounds, there is a lack of consensus in the literature regarding its key features and characteristics. Seeking to provide conceptual clarity and to contribute to efforts of theorisation, we here analyse four main facets of platform capitalism, namely crowdsourcing, sharing economy, gig economy and platform economy. We review key definitions of each term and provide an overview of their distinctive features. This allows us to identify both similarities and differences in the framing of these four terms. We also delve into the ideologies underlying these four terms, thus providing a critique of the neophilia characterising the discourse framing platform capitalism.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Platform capitalism; Crowdsourcing; Sharing economy; Gig economy; Platform economy; Ideology
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
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Publisher statement:© 2022 The Authors. New Technology, Work and Employment published by Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
Date accepted:07 February 2022
Date deposited:15 February 2022
Date of first online publication:23 February 2022
Date first made open access:28 June 2022

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