The Algorithmic Disruption of Workplace Solidarity: Phenomenology and the Future of Work Question
forthcoming 2021 Philosophy Today
39 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 22, 2021
This paper examines the development and technological mediation of solidarity. We argue for both an emphasis on the workplace as the locus of solidarity relations and for a phenomenological approach to describing and analysing these relations. We then argue that automated decision support systems (ADS) potentially affect possibilities for the formation of workplace solidarity. The focus on workplace solidarity is justified because workplace solidarity relations concretised via, for example, social objects such as labour unions, have played an outsize role in the broader struggle for social and political rights, recognition, and social, political and economic equality. As solidarity is politically productive insofar as it motivates collective action and risk-taking, the mediation and potential obstruction of solidarity relations by ADS is significant. We hope to contribute to the growing literature on the “future of work” problem in elucidating the technological mediation of this central political concept.
Keywords: Solidarity, future-of-work question, phenomenology, technological mediation, social objects, algorithmic decision support systems, platform labour
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