The Gig Economy


This paper involves a write-up of your assessment of, and reactions to Woodcock and Graham’s book, The Gig Economy: A Critical Introduction. You should develop a clear, concise 4 to 5-page essay discussing each of the following:

 1. Your general reaction to the book. Would you describe the book as interesting, challenging, boring, enlightening, uninformative, simplistic, some combination of the above, or in some other way? Most importantly, be sure to explain why you take the position you do. It is not enough to say simply that the book is interesting, or the book is boring. (This part of the paper should be relatively brief – a couple of paragraphs at most) 

2. How the book has contributed to your understanding of both the gig economy and the central role technology has played in its development The authors discuss the emergence of the gig economy and its operation. Throughout, the central role played by technology is highlighted. Identify and discuss THREE (3) key points you learned about the gig economy and the technology behind it. Some summary of the authors’ points is necessary, but you should focus on discussing these points, not merely summarizing them. In other words, use these points as a departure point, a springboard to discuss and elaborate the issues raised. I want to read YOUR thoughts, reflections and reactions to what you’ve

3. Problems with the gig economy and solutions Throughout the book, the authors highlight the problems associated with an economy increasingly based on temporary contract workers and note several different possible futures for gig work. How can the flexibility the gig economy offers both employers and workers be retained while at the same time dealing with the problems gig work poses for many workers? Discuss your thoughts and reflections in light of having read this book. 

Make sure to wrap up your paper with some sort of conclusion, don’t just end it abruptly.


• The paper MUST be typewritten, double-spaced, with standard margins. (font size: 11 or 12 pt.) 

• The paper MUST NOT exceed five (5) pages in length. 

• It is permissible (even encouraged) to write in the first person. It’s ok to write “I think”, “I disagree” etc. 

• This is not a research paper, but a reaction essay. So, it’s not necessary to cite lots of outside sources. Quotes and ideas from the book should be cited. If you do not use any outside sources beyond the book, it is permissible to simply cite with page numbers in parentheses. For instance: 

  • “For much geographically tethered work, platforms set rates of pay” (p. 65) 
  • The authors discuss many ways that workers in ‘geographically tethered’ jobs have undertaken resistance (pp. 94-104)

• You are encouraged to exchange ideas with other students in the class. Such an exchange should help to sharpen your understanding and broaden your perspective on the subject. Your writing, however, MUST be independent of others. 

• Proof-read your paper very carefully to be sure that it is well-written, grammatically correct, and that you are saying exactly what you intend. 

• You must upload an electronic copy to the appropriate folder in the dropbox on Carmen, by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday July 18th. Papers deposited in the dropbox after that will be considered late and will have points deducted for lateness. 

• This paper will count for 100 points of a total 500 possible points for the course. 

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