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Streaming for Sustenance: A Study of Streamers in Sweden and The Digital Platform Labor Order
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology. Stockholm Universitet.
2021 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis studies online video game live streamers. The study aims to explore the interrelationship of play and labor within streaming. Through this exploration, the study also enquires about the emerging platform economy. Streamers share their gameplay with viewers, interact through the accompanying live chat and subside mainly on donations from their audience. Streaming turns the leisure activity of gaming into a part-time or full-time subsistence pursuit. Twitch.tv, like other social media platforms, exists within the platform economy, inhabiting novel positions both in contexts of the global economy and in relations to laborers and consumers. Achieving the studies’ aim is done via methods of ethnographic interviewing, digital participant observation, and endeavoring into streaming.

In fulfilling the thesis purpose, contemporary anthropological theories of play, labor, and the platform economy are utilized by the author in analyzing the ethnographic material. The main results of the study showcase the economic realities of streamers in Sweden. The conditions streamers exist within are characterized by spatiotemporal dislocation of labor, the commodification of play, mental struggles, and the platform economy's embedded precarity. The work contributes to the sub-fields of digital anthropology, new media studies, digital play & labor, and studies of the platform economy. Studying streamers aids the production of emic knowledge within these crucial disciplines of understanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2021. , p. 30
Keywords [en]
Streaming, Labor, Play, Platform Economy, Gaming, Digital Anthropology, New Media, Precarity, Spatiotemporal Dislocation, Twitch.tv.
National Category
Social Anthropology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-220548OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-220548DiVA, id: diva2:1792914
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Available from: 2023-09-04 Created: 2023-08-30 Last updated: 2023-09-04Bibliographically approved

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Nordgren, 2021, Streaming for Sustenance: A Study of Streamers in Sweden and The Digital Platform Labor Order(1161 kB)64 downloads
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CiteExportLink to record
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