Chapter 8: The emergent challenges of contemporary capitalist models and practices: the dynamics of the platform and gig economy and its social consequences for industrial relations in Southern Europe
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This chapter will address the impact of the so-called platform economy in terms of the success of different online platforms that shows the consolidation of a new economic model where work and consumer experience are strongly mediated by a range of new technologies. This new paradigm also involves a “radical responsibilisation of the workforce” (Fleming 2017) in the delivery of products and services, leading to the emergence of various forms of hyper-flexible jobs whose status in the labour market legislation remain unclear. In this chapter, our goal is to highlight how the sphere of consumption, often ignored or downplayed in labour studies, is highly relevant to the understanding of the platform economy and its implications in Southern European countries. Additionally, we aim at discussing whether there are specific characteristics in the Southern European context that make its platform economy distinctive to other countries and how it affects their debates regarding employment relations. The aim of the chapter is to link debates on work with those on consumption.

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