From Performativity to Performances: Reconsidering Platforms’ Production of the Future of Work, Organizing, and Society

Authors

  • Kevin Woojin Lee New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-0102
  • Elizabeth Anne Watkins Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1434-589X

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/11673

Keywords:

platform, performance, performativity, technology, work, determinism

Abstract

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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Published

2021-01-29

How to Cite

Lee, K. W., & Watkins, E. A. (2021). From Performativity to Performances: Reconsidering Platforms’ Production of the Future of Work, Organizing, and Society. Sociologica, 14(3), 205-215. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.1971-8853/11673