COVID-19 has laid bare the enormous gap between the value that frontline workers bring to society and the low wages many earn in return. Ringing up groceries, driving buses and ambulances, and delivering food are all considered essential work, and demand for these services is surging. The following titles explore the contemporary challenges embedded in the labor system. From pushing back against corporate greed to the future of the gig economy, these books explore ways forward that will benefit workers everywhere.

More on Work & Labor from UC Press.

How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work

by Alex Rosenblat

“Functions as an examination of both how Uber’s algorithms are changing the way companies operate and exert control over their workers and how those workers are experiencing these changes.”—Slate

After the Gig
How the Sharing Economy Got Hijacked and How to Win It Back

by Juliet Schor
(available for preorder)

“As we turn to imagine what kind of economy and society we want after COVID-19, the work of Juliet Schor and her students will be indispensable.”—Raj Patel, author of A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet

Hustle and Gig
Struggling and Surviving in the Sharing Economy

by Alexandrea J. Ravenelle

“Vividly exposes the contradictions between the lofty promises of gig work for those with high social and cultural capital (e.g., Airbnb and Kitchensurfing workers) and the darker reality of many who struggle to make ends meet through platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit.”—Arne L. Kalleberg, author of Precarious Lives

Work Under Threat of Punishment

by Erin Hatton

“Written with clarity and style, this is a mix of people’s compelling, even tragic stories and an innovative contribution to what we know about work, highlighting a poorly understood phenomenon.”—Allison J. Pugh, author of The Tumbleweed Society: Working and Caring in an Age of Insecurity

Bite Back
People Taking On Corporate Food and Winning

Edited by Saru Jayaraman and Kathryn De Master with a foreword by Marion Nestle

“A hallmark collection useful to students, activists, researchers, and indeed, anyone with an interest in understanding how to change things for the better.”––M. Jahi Chappell, Executive Director of Food First and author of Beginning to End Hunger

Bandage, Sort, and Hustle
Ambulance Crews on the Front Lines of Urban Suffering

by Josh Seim

“This hard-hitting book takes readers into the working world of ambulance crews, painting a sharp portrait of those charged with picking up the bodies left to writhe in America’s gutters. Josh Seim offers an exciting new lens for understanding urban governance, labor, and inequality.”—Forrest Stuart, author of Down, Out, and Under Arrest: Policing and Everyday Life in Skid Row

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