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Publications (10 of 37) Show all publications
Zhang, Q. & Webster, N. A. (2024). Positioning rural geography into platform economies: Why we need to ask new questions when researching the rural platform economy. In: Mário Vale, Daniela Ferreira, Nuno Rodrigues (Ed.), Geographies of the Platform Economy: Critical Perspectives: (pp. 121-136). Springer Nature
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Positioning rural geography into platform economies: Why we need to ask new questions when researching the rural platform economy
2024 (English)In: Geographies of the Platform Economy: Critical Perspectives / [ed] Mário Vale, Daniela Ferreira, Nuno Rodrigues, Springer Nature, 2024, p. 121-136Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

A rapidly growing body of work explores platform-mediated economy and work under the umbrella term ‘Platform Urbanism’. This focus and academic discourse risk keeping digital spaces and practices in the rural context in the shadow or subordinated to urban-based understandings. Concurrently, digital studies on the rural have for long focused on technocratic approaches to improving information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure and connectivity. While recently the potentials of digitalization in transforming agriculture, small businesses, health care, and transportation in rural areas are receiving significant attention, these debates remain surprisingly disconnected from vibrant discussions of the platform economy. Thus, the remaking of rural geographies through the platform economy, and vice versa, remains under-examined. This chapter addresses the importance of spatiality and geography in considering the platform economy with examples of rural small business and agriculture. It illustrates why the nuances and complexity of rural spaces need to become part of understanding the dynamics of the platform economy. Centring rural as important and spatially significant not only lifts the complexity of rural platform processes but also creates opportunities for new questions and patterns. Rural geographical perspectives highlight relational and interlocking spaces found in the rural platform economy and offer the potential for a deeper understanding of social-technical-spatial relations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2024
Series
Economic Geography, ISSN 2520-1417, E-ISSN 2520-1425
Keywords
Platform economy, Platformization, Rural geography, Social-technical-spatial relations, Small business, Agriculture
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-231356 (URN)10.1007/978-3-031-53594-9_9 (DOI)978-3-031-53593-2 (ISBN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00445Swedish Research Council, 2022-05314
Available from: 2024-06-19 Created: 2024-06-19 Last updated: 2024-07-01Bibliographically approved
Webster, N. A. & Zhang, Q. (2024). The Gig Economy: Work and consumption in the digital continuum.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Gig Economy: Work and consumption in the digital continuum
2024 (English)Other, Policy document (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
Abstract [en]

This pamphlet outlines key issues in the gig economy and highlights issues that decision makers should consider. 

Publisher
p. 2
Keywords
gig economy, digital continuum, policy, decision makers
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-227855 (URN)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00445
Available from: 2024-03-29 Created: 2024-03-29 Last updated: 2024-04-23Bibliographically approved
Zhang, Q., Webster, N. A., Han, S. & Ayele, W. Y. (2023). Contextualizing the rural in digital studies: A computational literature review of rural-digital relations. Technology in society, 75, Article ID 102373.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contextualizing the rural in digital studies: A computational literature review of rural-digital relations
2023 (English)In: Technology in society, ISSN 0160-791X, E-ISSN 1879-3274, Vol. 75, article id 102373Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Digital technologies are changing how and where we live, work and socialize. Rural areas are distinctive spaces and places but in the current debates of new digital phenomena, digital spaces and practices risk not being contextualized with sensitivities to rural geographies. This study aims to map how digital has been examined to date in rural-focused studies, and accordingly present propositions for how rural-digital studies can be sensitive to the distinctive and diverse character of rural spaces and places. We conduct a two-stage/scale literature review, combining 1) computational topic modelling from a Global Dataset (459 article abstracts) with 2) qualitative content analysis from a sub-dataset focusing on the Nordic region (Nordic Sub-Dataset, 17 full articles). We begin with a topic modelling analysis generating ten major themes (topics) leading to an overview of how research areas are connected to the meaning of rural context. Turning to the Nordic region, as an in-depth example, we illustrate the complexity of rural digital geographies, through a qualitative content analysis. This demonstrates that digital in rural contexts are primarily positioned outwardly as social/regional development and business/economy, and less situated inwardly through individual experience and community building. Combined we show a wide spectrum of rural-digital relations but demonstrate that rural contexts in rural-digital relations need more attention. We propose three propositions to invite deeper rural contextualizations in future digital studies to uphold the importance of rural spaces and places through, by and with digital geography.

Keywords
Rural geography, Digital geography, Rural-digital relations, Context, Computational literature review, Topic modelling, Qualitative content analysis, Global, Nordic
National Category
Information Systems, Social aspects Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Computer and Systems Sciences; Geography with Emphasis on Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-223284 (URN)10.1016/j.techsoc.2023.102373 (DOI)001088651600001 ()2-s2.0-85173133406 (Scopus ID)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00445Swedish Research Council, 2022-05314Stockholm University, SU FV-3165-21
Available from: 2023-10-24 Created: 2023-10-24 Last updated: 2023-11-14Bibliographically approved
Webster, N. A., Zhang, Q., Butler, O., Dissing Christensen, M., Duus, K., Floros, K., . . . Roelofsen, M. (2023). Thinking through digital mediations and spatialities of platform based work: A roundtable reflection. Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Thinking through digital mediations and spatialities of platform based work: A roundtable reflection
Show others...
2023 (English)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This paper is a unique roundtable discussion between geographers to explore, contextualizeand problematize the role of geography in the gig economy. It brings together eight researchersfrom across Europe all working with qualitative methods and studying the gig economy. Basedon reflections and commentaries regarding the spatialities and temporalities in and of the gigeconomy, we offer an innovative approach to exploring complicated factors in an emerging andrapidly growing field. We highlight the multiple layers of geography in physical and digitalspaces and the, sometimes blurry, interactions between these. We also show howtemporalities shape the geographies of the gig economy. This paper contributes to developing,deepening and advancing theoretical challenges in understanding the gig economy. It alsobrings these challenges into an accessible, yet thorough publication that can be used inteaching about the gig economy and digital geography. We provide a pedagogical tool tosupport university teachers in using this document in their courses.

Abstract [sv]

Denna rapport är en unik rundabordsdiskussion mellan geografer för att utforska,kontextualisera och problematisera geografins roll i gigekonomin. Detta samlar åtta forskarefrån olika kontexter i Europa som alla arbetar med kvalitativa metoder och forskar omgigekonomin. Baserat på reflektioner och kommentarer om rumsligheten och temporaliteternai och av gigekonomin erbjuder vi ett innovativt tillvägagångssätt för att undersöka kompliceradefaktorer i ett fält som växer och förändras snabbt. Vi lyfter fram flera aspekter av geografi ifysiska och digitala rum och platser och de, ibland luddiga, interaktionerna mellan dessaaspekter. Vi visar också hur temporaliteter formar gigekonomins geografier. Denna rapportbidrar till att utveckla, fördjupa och främja teoretiska utmaningar för att förstå gigekonomin.Det för också dessa utmaningar till en tillgänglig men ändå grundlig publikation som kananvändas i undervisningen om gigekonomin och digital geografi. Vi inkluderar ett pedagogisktverktyg för att stödja universitetslärare att använda detta dokument i sina kurser.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: , 2023. p. 54
Series
Kulturgeografiskt seminarium: rapporter, meddelanden, uppsatser från Kulturgeografiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 0347-9552 ; 2023:1
Keywords
Gig economy, platform based work, digital mediation, spatiality, temporality, everyday digital practices, social-technical-spatial relations, roundtable, pedagogic
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-223892 (URN)978-91-89107-33-5 (ISBN)
Projects
Formas, 2019- 00445Stockholm University, Fund for Strategic Investments, SU FV-3165-21FORTE (Research Institute for Health, Working Life & Welfare), 2020-00332AUFF (Arhus University Research Foundation), AUFF-F-2016-FLS-7-2
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00445Stockholm University, SU FV-3165-21Forte, Swedish Research Council for Health, Working Life and Welfare, 2020-00332
Available from: 2023-11-20 Created: 2023-11-20 Last updated: 2023-11-27Bibliographically approved
Webster, N. A. & Haandrikman, K. (2022). Exploring the Role of Privilege in Migrant Women's Self-Employment. Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, 46(6), 1534-1568
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring the Role of Privilege in Migrant Women's Self-Employment
2022 (English)In: Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, ISSN 1042-2587, E-ISSN 1540-6520, Vol. 46, no 6, p. 1534-1568Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper launches a discussion for using privilege to understand migrant self-employment. Migrants are a heterogeneous and complex group, yet migrant self-employment studies have not yet considered how privilege provides opportunities or gains. Using mixed-methods this paper explores the role of privilege in migrant self-employment. Life course histories are combined with full-population register data to understand migrant self-employment and to provide a sense of privilege in process. Findings reveal theoretically and empirically how privilege shapes self-employment for women migrants in Sweden with certain groups benefitting more from privilege.

Keywords
self-employment, privilege, labor market integration, migrant women, mixed methods
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-192825 (URN)10.1177/1042258720969139 (DOI)000631221400001 ()2-s2.0-85094910889 (Scopus ID)
Available from: 2021-04-28 Created: 2021-04-28 Last updated: 2022-11-14Bibliographically approved
Webster, N. A. & Zhang, Q. (2022). Intersectional understandings of the role and meaning of platform-mediated work in the pandemic Swedish welfare state. Digital Geography and Society, 3, Article ID 100025.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Intersectional understandings of the role and meaning of platform-mediated work in the pandemic Swedish welfare state
2022 (English)In: Digital Geography and Society, ISSN 2666-3783, Vol. 3, article id 100025Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Digitally-mediated forms of services are increasingly normalized and rapidly transforming working and everyday lives creating new digital-social-spatial relations. The platform economy, in particular, offers new ways of work and new means of consumption. These changes challenge welfare states, both in the operations of institutions and to their foundational social goals and values. In Sweden, with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, social and labour market segregation intersected and amplified inequalities resulting in media covering and querying the nature and role of platform-mediated work within the Swedish welfare context. Located within an intersectional perspective, this study explores how media articulations of platform-mediated work shape theoretical understandings of the platform economy during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Sweden. This was conducted through an ethnographic content analysis (ECA) of Swedish-language newspapers between January and September 2020 (96 articles). We show understandings of the platform economy are active and shifting in temporal and spatial contexts. We highlight how work and working forms tie closely to ideas of equality and welfare in the Swedish context. Intersectional perspectives reveal the central role of power structures in local context – a specific time/place- and decenters normative economic perspectives of the platform economy. This study reinforces the need for more studies on the platform economy that foreground social relations to understand inequalities produced in and through social-technological activities. 

Keywords
Platform economy, Work, Welfare state, Intersectionality, Inequality, Ethnographic content analysis
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-201540 (URN)10.1016/j.diggeo.2021.100025 (DOI)
Projects
Integration Delivered? Unveiling immigrant experiences in the growing Swedish gig economy
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019-00445
Available from: 2022-01-27 Created: 2022-01-27 Last updated: 2022-03-01Bibliographically approved
Webster, N. A. & Zhang, Q. (2021). Centering social-technical relations in studying platform urbanism: intersectionality for just futures in European cities. Urban Transformations, 3(1), Article ID 10.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Centering social-technical relations in studying platform urbanism: intersectionality for just futures in European cities
2021 (English)In: Urban Transformations, E-ISSN 2524-8162, Vol. 3, no 1, article id 10Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Platform-based services are rapidly transforming urban work, lives and spaces around the world. The rise of platforms dependent on largely expendable labour relations, with significant migrant involvement, must be seen as connected, and as replicating larger social processes rather than merely technological changes. This perspective paper urgently calls for an intersectional perspective to better understand social-technical relations crossing the digital-urban interface of platform urbanism in contemporary European cities. Critics of platforms and gig work, to date, have mainly focused on algorithms-based social control, degraded working conditions, problematic employment relations and precariousness of gig work. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has both disrupted and amplified these issues, intensifying the vulnerability of gig workers. For example, in Sweden, migrant groups and gig workers were separately identified as being hardest hit by Covid, but with little attention to the interconnectivity between these categories, nor to how these groups are co-positioned vis-a-vis larger socio-economic inequalities. Thus, we argue for a deeper understanding of the social processes underlying platforms and for active investigation of how inequalities are being produced and/or maintained in/by these processes. Urban planners, designers and policy makers will need to actively address the hybrid (digital and physical) urban spaces produced in platform urbanism in order to prevent spatial and economic inequalities. We argue for a stronger recognition of interrelated and overlapping social categories such as gender and migrant status as central to the construction of mutually constitutive systems of oppression and discrimination produced in and through the platform urbanism.

Keywords
Platform urbanism, Intersectionality, Gig economy, Migrant, Work, Urban inequalities
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-198485 (URN)10.1186/s42854-021-00027-z (DOI)
Funder
Swedish Research Council Formas, 2019–00445
Available from: 2021-11-11 Created: 2021-11-11 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Haandrikman, K., Webster, N. A. & Duvander, A.-Z. (2021). Geographical Variation in Local Gender Contracts in Sweden. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 14, 679-701
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Geographical Variation in Local Gender Contracts in Sweden
2021 (English)In: Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, ISSN 1874-463X, Vol. 14, p. 679-701Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite Sweden’s national gender-neutral family and social policies, local differences in gender contracts exist and have been related to differences in the structure of the labour market and cultural traditions. Existing studies are outdated and used relatively large administratively defined areas, which may lead to several measurement and interpretation errors. This paper examines geographical variation in gender contracts in present-day Sweden using individualized neighbourhoods on different scales. Gender contracts are operationalized using six indicators on the level of family, politics and labour. We identify five types of local gender contracts: the metropolitan gender contract, the progressive gender contract, the suburban gender contract, the commuter gender contract and the traditional gender contract. The most gender equal patterns are found in metropolitan and other urban areas, with high shares of fathers taking parental leave and the highest shares of women with high education and gainful employment, and low shares of young mothers. The analyses give evidence of considerable local variation instead of a dominant gender contract in each region. The findings may stimulate further research and local policies on gender inequality.

Keywords
gender contract, family policy, parental leave, individualized neighbourhoods, multiscalar approach
National Category
Human Geography Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-191500 (URN)10.1007/s12061-020-09371-2 (DOI)
Projects
Linnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE)Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM)Riksbanken Lyckliga Gatan
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 349-2007- 8701Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M18-0214:1Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164
Available from: 2021-03-23 Created: 2021-03-23 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Haandrikman, K., Duvander, A.-Z. & Webster, N. (2021). Local Variation in Gendered Family Policy Use: Evidence of Local Gender Contracts?. Spatial Demography, 9, 155-186
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local Variation in Gendered Family Policy Use: Evidence of Local Gender Contracts?
2021 (English)In: Spatial Demography, ISSN 2364-2289, Vol. 9, p. 155-186Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A central and unique part of Sweden’s family policy programme is care leave that working parents can use when children are sick and cannot attend (pre)school. The gender-equal policy entails that parents may divide the leave as they see fit. However, mothers and fathers do not share care leave equally and care leave patterns may vary geographically. The aim of this paper is to examine the interaction between gendered care leave and geographical context using the theory of gender contracts. We ask how geographical variation in fathers’ share of care leave varies by scale, and how both individual factors and geographical determinants, representing local gender contracts, are associated with fathers’ share of care leave. Distinctive from previous work, we use geocoded full-population register data and individualized neighbourhoods at multiple scales in order to be able to better measure contextual effects on care leave use. We find substantial spatial variation in fathers’ share of care leave, with clustering depending on scale level. Using the nearest 200 fathers with young children, a factor analysis summarizes local gender contracts into three factors labelled as elite, marginalization and private sector. Results show that especially living in local gender contract areas identified as “marginalized” positively affects fathers’ share of care leave. Living in the most segregated neighbourhoods has substantial effects on fathers’ share of care leave, but overall, neighbourhood effects are moderate. A gender contract perspective shows negotiations resulting from locally clustered gendered norms and relative resources between partners influence who stays home with sick children.

Keywords
family policy, parental leave, gender contract, individualized neighbourhoods, multiscalar approachh
National Category
Human Geography Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Human Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-191499 (URN)10.1007/s40980-021-00082-x (DOI)000629856300001 ()
Projects
Riksbanken Lyckliga GatanLinnaeus Center on Social Policy and Family Dynamics in Europe (SPaDE)Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM)
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, M18-0214:1Swedish Research Council, 349-2007- 8701Swedish Research Council, 340-2013-5164
Available from: 2021-03-23 Created: 2021-03-23 Last updated: 2022-02-25Bibliographically approved
Drozdzewski, D. & Webster, N. A. (2021). (Re)visiting the neighbourhood. Geography Compass, 15(12), Article ID e12597.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>(Re)visiting the neighbourhood
2021 (English)In: Geography Compass, E-ISSN 1749-8198, Vol. 15, no 12, article id e12597Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Neighbourhoods are complex places, at once familiar and foreign, easily found on a map or bounded by rules only insiders know. Although neighbourhood is a concept, one that we experience daily, it remains conceptually challenging for geographers and planners alike. Nevertheless, and despite its complexity, the importance of the understanding the neighbourhood should not be overlooked, especially in the post-pandemic world. Understanding the neighbourhood as a concept, place and context, poses opportunities for geographers to think-with and think laterally across the demographic information we may have on who lives in a neighbourhood, and towards the integration of lived experiences to our explorations of it. In this paper, we critically review key literature on the neighbourhood since 2015, and discuss recurrent themes from that scholarship: belonging, place attachment, everyday interactions, and spatial formations. We argue that the neighbourhood be considered as a multilayered locale and a site imbued with emotions and meanings located with, in and stemming from place-specific conceptual, temporal, and spatial contexts of the neighbourhood. Our (re)visit of the neighbourhood occasions, we think, an opportunity for geographers to keep in touch with the neighbourhood and shape new discussions around these important 'lived in' spaces and places.

Keywords
belonging, everyday, methods, morphology, neighbourhood, place attachment
National Category
Social and Economic Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-200013 (URN)10.1111/gec3.12597 (DOI)000718324400001 ()
Available from: 2021-12-22 Created: 2021-12-22 Last updated: 2022-10-04Bibliographically approved
Organisations
Identifiers
ORCID iD: ORCID iD iconorcid.org/0000-0001-6289-2380

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