From Performativity to Performances: Reconsidering Platforms’ Production of the Future of Work, Organizing, and Society
Keywords:platform, performance, performativity, technology, work, determinism
This essay takes as its starting point Gernot Grabher and Jonas König's (2020) piece, "Disruption, Embedded. A Polanyian Framing of the Platform Economy," and suggests focusing on how digital platforms are realized on the ground. We propose that the people experiencing platformization have a strong influence over the futures that platforms can evoke. To illuminate this interplay between people and platforms, we offer a taxonomy of three ways that people intervene in how platforms produce the future: innovation, articulation, and opposition. In doing so, we build on Grabher and König’s essay to enrich the analytical and predictive power of their framework. Moreover, we provide the beginnings of a theoretical framework of our own - namely, a sociology of people’s performances and their role in future-making - which we believe can contribute to ongoing discussions on the future of work and organizing.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Kevin Woojin Lee, Elizabeth Anne Watkins
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