A Typology of Mediatized Work

Authors: Karin Fast*, Karlstad University
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: Mediatization, work, liquid, space, typology
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 5:00 PM
Room: Edgewood AB, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper deals with the transformation of work under the pressures of mediatization. Mediatization is here understood as a historical process of media-induced change that establishes tensions between emancipating forces and increasing socio-technological dependence. The paper seeks to make sense of mediatized work and its implications by way of a typology covering forms of work that has either been reconfigured through changes in the media system or developed as a direct response to mediatization and the accompanying post-Fordist regime of work. The typology comprises work ranging from traditional jobs whose premises have changed with mobile and connected media, via work forms that are inherently mediatized (e.g. ‘community manager’, ‘engagement editor’, or ‘digital strategist’), to media-induced work forms whose status as work is currently subjected to scholarly debate (e.g. ‘consumer work’, ‘micro work’, or ‘fan labor’). The typology serves a three-fold purpose in this paper. Firstly, and most evidently, the typology is an attempt to identify, categorize, and problematize old and new forms of mediatized work. Secondly, the paper uses the typology as a vantage point for a dialectical critique of the social implications of mediatized work that departs from two conceptual axes: autonomy/dependency and privilege/precariousness. Thirdly, and finally, the typology moves the paper into a discussion about the spatial implications of mediatized work, most notably the liquidization of homes, workplaces, and urban spaces. Ultimately then, the typology works as a tool to understand mediatization as a pervasive force that structures our lived spaces.

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