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Article

Identities and Precariousness in the Collaborative Economy, Neither Wage-Earner, nor Self-Employed: Emergence and Consolidation of the Homo Rider, a Case Study

1
Department of Contemporary Humanities, University of Alicante, 03690 Alicante, Spain
2
Department of Political Sciences and Sociology, University of Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
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Department of Sociology, University of Murcia, 30003 Murcia, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Urbaniec and Victor Fabian Climent Peredo
Societies 2022, 12(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12010006
Received: 15 November 2021 / Revised: 23 December 2021 / Accepted: 23 December 2021 / Published: 28 December 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Transformation and the Labour Market Inequalities)
In recent years, courier and home delivery services have experienced extensive growth around the world. These platform companies, that operate through applications on smartphones, have experienced the benefits of the technological leap that has been produced by the conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions on traditional commerce. This business model integrates novel elements that move away from a classic contractual relationship, employer-employee. They combine a strong cooperative culture, integrated by company values and principles that make the rider assume an identity that defines him/her as a worker and a member of a community. In addition, on the other hand, precarious working conditions, in which extreme competitiveness among colleagues and dependence on high standards of service compliance are encouraged. In Spain, there is a lack of research on the identity of workers in this type of platform. By means of in-depth interviews with drivers of two different companies in the Region of Murcia (Spain), the main objective of this article is to identify and describe the figure of what we define as homo rider, understood as a prototype individual in the context of contemporary labor relations, linked to the incorporation of new technologies for the intermediation and interconnection between people, goods and services. We approach to the socioeconomic spectrum and identity imaginary of the homo rider through two dimensions, material and ideological, to construct this broad, ambiguous figure between self-employment and wage-earner that would also represent a complex relation between precarious work and new technologies. View Full-Text
Keywords: gig economy; precariat; fake freelancing; homo rider; ethnography gig economy; precariat; fake freelancing; homo rider; ethnography
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MDPI and ACS Style

López-Martínez, G.; Haz-Gómez, F.E.; Manzanera-Román, S. Identities and Precariousness in the Collaborative Economy, Neither Wage-Earner, nor Self-Employed: Emergence and Consolidation of the Homo Rider, a Case Study. Societies 2022, 12, 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12010006

AMA Style

López-Martínez G, Haz-Gómez FE, Manzanera-Román S. Identities and Precariousness in the Collaborative Economy, Neither Wage-Earner, nor Self-Employed: Emergence and Consolidation of the Homo Rider, a Case Study. Societies. 2022; 12(1):6. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12010006

Chicago/Turabian Style

López-Martínez, Gabriel, Francisco E. Haz-Gómez, and Salvador Manzanera-Román. 2022. "Identities and Precariousness in the Collaborative Economy, Neither Wage-Earner, nor Self-Employed: Emergence and Consolidation of the Homo Rider, a Case Study" Societies 12, no. 1: 6. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc12010006

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