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Session Overview
RN18_09a_IC: Digital Labour, Value Creation and Knowledge Labour
Friday, 01/Sep/2017:
11:00am - 12:30pm

Session Chair: Thomas Allmer, University of Stirling
Location: Intercontinental - Aphrodite I
Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel Syngrou Avenue 89-93 Athens, Greece Floor: Lobby Level

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Invisible Face of Digital Labor in Turkey: Working Conditions in Software Industry

Cagdas Ceyhan1, Duygu Hatipoglu Aydin2

1Anadolu University, Turkey; 2Yalova University, Turkey

The software sector is a growing industry and has a market share of $ 4.2 billion in Turkey. Qualified, considerably young labor force is employed in this sector. This labor, particularly based on knowledge and information, is exposed to new forms of exploitation such as flexible working hours, telecommuting, working on temporary project basis. Unremunerated labor is the invisible and typical characteristic of this work model.

In this study, we try to understand working conditions of software sector in favor of employees. In this respect, we conducted 14 in-depth interviews with employees in software sector in Ankara and Istanbul. Main questions of the research are how employees define their working conditions, what do employees think about forming a union, in the digital labor in general where software sector employees place themselves. Employees major issues are flexible working hours, temporary projects and working on project basis. Software industry employees precisely reveal some characteristics for precarity, particularly in terms of emotional aspects.

Precarious work is a common work form in Turkey since early 2000’s. Although the software sector has an educated and qualified work force in Turkey, the working conditions have precarious working qualities in software sector. This study examines precarious working conditions in the digital labor market for the first time in Turkey.


Vasilyi Kornienko1, Mikhail Basimov2

1Kurgan State University, Russian Federation; 2Russian State Social University, Russian Federation

In a sociological study investigated attitudes to various nationalities, social groups, some politicians, political activity and type of the personality. The strongest dependence of estimates of the importance of printed publications as a source of information about policy (X37) is observed for the independent parameter (X32) "The Adoption of Vladimir Putin":

X32-1(X37=-3525); X32-2(X37=7664); X32-3(X37=56); X32-4(X37=250)

Factor of the connection strength =1.07(0.19)

Coefficient of correlation =0.20

For the 1st quarter (25% of respondents) most negatively estimating V.Putin is extremely low (-3525) the value of assessments of the value of printed publications as a source of information about politics (X37). The transition to the 2nd quarter evaluation of V.Putin accompanied by a very sharp jump of assessments X37 (with -3525 to +7664). After that the transition to the 3rd quarter noted though less, but also very sharp recession of estimates of X37 (with +7664 to +56). The 4th quarter of respondents according to the independent parameter practically does not differ from the 3rd quarter (about 0). Thus, we have the dependence of the maximum in the 2nd quarter and overall positive dynamics (with -3525 to +250), general growth, which is expressed in the insignificant coefficient of correlation (R=+0.20). The inverse dependence is also very weak (SV=0.19), i.e. the assessment of the significance of the publications will not affect the assessment of V.Putin (as well as on the other parameters of the research).

Thus, an uncertain attitude to V.Putin (the 2nd and the 3rd quarters) contributes to the sharp dynamics (first increases, then decreases) in the assessment of printed editions as a source of political information.

Labouring in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Sector in Istanbul, Turkey

Başak Bozkurt

Marmara University, Turkey

In Post-Fordist era, with the development of ICT, labour as a practice has expanded and occupied all areas of life. This new form of labour called “digital labour” has become the definition of our epoch. A midnight telephone call or an urgent mail in need of immediate reply may force a worker to create a surplus value. The boundaries between work and private life are blurred. Employees are expected to be flexible, competitive and to take risks, avoid bureaucracy. Surveillance and control mechanisms have pervaded every aspect of life. The new form of power exerted on employees by employers has changed from face to face contact to an electronic one. The electronic cage, such as cameras, electronic entrance systems, working-time calculation programs have substituted the iron cage of bureaucracy. Employees are struggling against flexibility, precarity, deskilling with different tactics and strategies such as slowdown, quitting. Yet, measures such as individual employment contracts and/or performance systems prevent workers from struggling together.

This study aims to answer the questions below: How do employees in ICT sector feel the effects of new capitalism? What are the tactics and strategies of employees to avoid exploitation and unremunerated labour? What is the place of Turkey in ICT sector? For example, is Turkey a cheap labour pool like India? In order to find answers to such questions, a qualitative research will be conducted by using in-depth interviews with employees who work with/without having employee contract and/or subcontract in different companies in Istanbul, Turkey.

Work and sensibilities. Mercantilization and processes of expropriation around digital labour

Pedro Matías Lisdero, Adrián Oscar Scribano

CONICET, Argentine Republic

The expansion of a series of phenomena that link work and new media has resulted in (among others) the emergence of debates that cross different areas of knowledge. The notion of digital labour has revitalized discussions around critical studies of communications, but it has also been relevant to those inquiries of the metamorphosis of labor relations, or in even everyday life studies. Thus, one of the outstanding perspectives has problematized the forms of work necessary for the production, circulation and use of digital media (Fuchs & Sandoval, 2015). Following the questions that come from here, this paper explore the contributions of the sociology of the body and the emotions to understand the practices associated with digital labour. To do this: first, it explores a series of theoretical debates around the definition of these labour, in order to underline the relevance of re defining the area of exploitation linked to these practices. Second, it develops some arguments from a sociology of bodies and emotions perspective, which allows to understand in what sense the technological mediation linked to the expansion of ICTs constitutes a re-configuration of "the politics of the senses" (look, see, observe, touch, etc.). Finally, it analyzes some cases of workers from the ICTs industries (from testimonies and records of virtual ethnography) that allow us to connect their daily experience with certain mechanisms of expropriation and mercantilization of the vitality of bodies.

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