Working Class Life in the Wake of Digital Taylorism: Immigrant Delivery Workers and the After-Effects of Scientific Management


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Innovation Fellowships




This project turns to immigrant delivery workers’ embodied perspectives of the gig economy to complicate understandings of how digital Taylorism shapes social and economic lives in New York City. In contrast to the top-down research and development used by corporations to maximize profit in the gig economy, it utilizes a workers’ inquiry methodology, emphasizing collaborative, action-oriented research alongside workers to document the effects of rapidly changing technologies of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and algorithmic management. Through this methodology, this project outlines the racializing and disciplining effects of algorithms in shaping the lives of immigrant delivery workers. In doing so, it also hopes to discover how digital Taylorism produces residual after-effects, like solidarity and care, that propose other modes of social life under the managerial control of algorithms and digital technology.