New Publication: Platform urbanism: thinking through reproductive contradictions using body scales
News from Jun 23, 2023
In this paper, we suggest the debate on a „platformisation“ of urban infrastructures may be expanded on by feminist geographies using the body scale as an analytical framework. Understanding infrastructures as technical, material, and socially embedded assemblages, we focus on the relevance of locally available and place-based labour as a central element of platform urbanism. The scale of the body enables us to trace the social-reproductive contradictions emerging from this crucial part of the infrastructure. With a variety of examples, we then illustrate how these contradictions articulate themselves at different scales. We argue that the efficiency of platform urbanism hinges on both the socio-technical functional logics of platforms as well as a differentiation of bodies through state migration policies. We conclude that the seemingly smooth and efficient operation of platform urbanism benefits from the perpetuated structuring and hierarchisation of visible and invisible labour through state regulation and social differentiation. Our contribution is to employ feminist geographic theories to develop an analytical framework that may be used in future research to explore the differentiation of bodies in the platform economy.