Authors: Natasha Webster*, Stockholm University
Topics: Economic Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Migration
Keywords: Gig economy, entrepreneurship, migration, integration, public spaces, Sweden
Session Type: Paper
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Studio 3, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded
As the gig economy grows stronger into the fabric of urban economies, more and more diverse opportunities to weave together employment are utilized by diverse groups in the city. The gig economy has been criticized for creating unequal labour arrangements, particularly for vulnerable groups such as migrants and women while conversely celebrated for it bottom-up organic responses to urban problems. Food delivery and production is situated within these debates. This study focuses on the creation of a food delivery app in Stockholm, Sweden and the intersection with integration, migrant precarity and public and private spaces. The app links together private kitchens and chefs (nearly all new migrants to Sweden) with home cooking for next day meal pick-up. The food app is positioned publicly as an integration tool and opportunity for migrants to gain experience in the local Stockholm labour market. Through interviews with participating chefs, the app management team and participatory observations at firm training sessions and food festivals, this study examines the complicity of food entrepreneurship in the gig economy as well as the intersection of race, gender and labour. As a case study, we unpack how food is utilized within co-ethnic groups and as a tool of integration while at the same time, exposes inequalities in access to opportunities in urban economies.