In this episode, I’m interviewing editor Deepa Das Acevedo about the new book ‘Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation’ – I actually have a chapter in it, as well! I’m glad to have participated in a book like this, as my chapter, in particular, brings the driver perspective to this conversation. It will be a great resource for the industry, including regulators, the media and more.
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Intro to Deepa Das Acevedo
- Law professor at the University of Alabama Law School
- Has been studying the gig economy since 2013
- Focuses on employment law
- PhD in Anthropology, became interested in the gig economy
- Started working in the gig economy, hanging out with drivers
- It’s not ‘just’ hanging out – it’s making observations
- It won’t give you all the data, but you can get an understanding of what drives people
- Gets you stories that help you explain what you’re studying
Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation
- Overview: pulls together insights from people like Harry (and others who contributed to the book) along with research to say ‘these types of conversations are something regulators should pay attention to’
- Without this information, judges, city council members, etc. are operating on a partially empty basis
- A lot of information has come out from journalists – but what happens is those references become the only references regulators have
- They’re not always fleshed out or challenged – so regulators don’t have the full picture
Providing the Full Picture
- A lot of conversations around the gig economy come from old data or even other cities
- Gig workers seem to be left out of the conversation entirely
- Ex. surveys show drivers want to be independent contractors, but this doesn’t fully encompass the law, etc.
- Motivations don’t always make sense – saying ‘drivers want to be ICs’ leaves out nuances
Employment and the Law
- Independent contractor status can be difficult to balance
- Real life and legal implications
- Should what drivers want matter? Certain protections in place so they aren’t taken advantage of
- This isn’t to say regulators have everything they need – it’s still enormously complicated
Process of Creating a Resource Like Beyond the Algorithm
- Not as bad as warned!
- Credit goes to contributors for the work
- Engagement among the contributors
- Cambridge only has hard copies right now, but paperback edition will be out in a few months
- Thanks to Deepa for coming on the podcast, and for editing such a great compilation of insights on the gig economy
- The book is going to be an excellent opportunity to learn about different viewpoints on similar issues
- If you pick up a copy of the book, let me know!
- Shout out to all of my co-authors (see below!)
- Find Beyond the Algorithm: Qualitative Insights for Gig Work Regulation on Amazon or Cambridge University Press
- Chapter List:
- The Rise and Scope of Gig Work Regulation – By Deepa Das Acevedo
- An Uber Ambivalence – By V. B. Dubal
- Invisible Work, Visible Workers – By Alexandra Mateescu, Julia Ticona
- The Importance of Qualitative Research Approaches to Gig Economy Taxation – By Shu-Yi Oei, Diane M. Ring
- Just a Gig? – By Alexandrea J. Ravenelle
- Algorithmic Management, Employment, and the Self in Gig Work – By Julia Tomassetti
- Regulating Transportation Systems without Authority (or Data) – By Zak Accuardi
- Words Matter – By Sam Harnett
- Rewriting the Rules – By Rebecca Smith, Maya Pinto
- What Regulators Could Gain by Listening to Rideshare Drivers – By Harry Campbell
-Harry @ RSG