Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories
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Handbook on the Geographies of Regions and Territories

Edited by Anssi Paasi, John Harrison and Martin Jones

This new international Handbook provides the reader with the most up-to-date and original viewpoints on critical debates relating to the rapidly transforming geographies of regions and territories, as well as related key concepts such as place, scale, networks and regionalism. Bringing together renowned specialists who have extensively theorized these spatial concepts and contributed to rich empirical research in disciplines such as geography, sociology, political science and IR studies, this interdisciplinary collection offers fresh, cutting-edge, and contextual insights on the significance of regions and territories in today’s dynamic world.
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Chapter 12: Divisions of labour, technology and the transformation of work: worker to robot or self-employment and the gig economy?

John R. Bryson


This chapter explores the relationships between work and firms in the context of city-region economies. The concern is to identify drivers of change as they apply to the experience of work. These drivers can be traced back to the emergence of capitalism, but their impacts alter as macro-economic processes are transformed. In 2017, labour markets experienced a particular moment of revolutionary transformation as mobile technologies, combined with developments in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, create new jobs, often forms of precarious employment, as well as transforming existing work. The application of mobile technologies to work has led to the emergence of the gig economy and gig jobs which are challenging existing forms of work while AI is destroying some jobs. The chapter explores the changing relationship between work and organisation as new ways of organising production emerge in response to process and technological innovations.

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