Discrimination Without Discriminating? Learned Gender Inequality in the Labor Market and Gig Economy
24 Pages Posted: 29 Jul 2019
Date Written: June 1, 2019
The “sharing” economy, and in particular the exchange of labor and services within it, is generating wide-spread attention from scholars. It has been celebrated as a disruption to current forms of labor and consumption. This depiction suggests a new, sui generis form of economy, which can and should be understood in and of itself, or at most, by its contrast with the current labor market in which workers are employees. Yet, I argue, emerging research on gender discrimination in the gig economy suggests that this understanding occludes a major feature of the gig economy — its operation in the shadow of the labor market and antidiscrimination law. In this Article, I argue that we should begin to consider the deeper relationship between the gig economy, the labor market, and antidiscrimination law. More specifically, I contend that inequality is learned: the labor market teaches gender inequality, these lessons are internalized by workers and reappear in the context of working in the gig economy. Therefore, I suggest that if we wish to mitigate gender discrimination for taskers in the gig economy, we must enhance antidiscrimination law for employees in the traditional labor market.
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