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Charting Platform Capitalism: Definitions, concepts and ideologies

Liang, Yin; Aroles, Jeremy; Brandl, Bernd

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Jeremy Aroles


The term ‘platform capitalism’ captures a dynamic set of new work modalities that are mediated by platforms and have been brought about through advances in Information and Communication Technologies, adjustments in consumption modes and preferences, and changes in how work is conceived. Beyond work-related changes, the ascent of platform capitalism reflects wider societal, political as well as economic changes. While research on platform capitalism and its manifold manifestations abounds, there is a lack of consensus in the literature regarding its key features and characteristics. Seeking to provide conceptual clarity and to contribute to efforts of theorisation, we here analyse four main facets of platform capitalism, namely crowdsourcing, sharing economy, gig economy and platform economy. We review key definitions of each term and provide an overview of their distinctive features. This allows us to identify both similarities and differences in the framing of these four terms. We also delve into the ideologies underlying these four terms, thus providing a critique of the neophilia characterising the discourse framing platform capitalism.


Liang, Y., Aroles, J., & Brandl, B. (2022). Charting Platform Capitalism: Definitions, concepts and ideologies. New Technology, Work and Employment, 37(2), 308-327.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 7, 2022
Online Publication Date Feb 23, 2022
Publication Date Jul 11, 2022
Deposit Date Feb 15, 2022
Publicly Available Date Jun 28, 2022
Journal New Technology, Work and Employment
Print ISSN 0268-1072
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 37
Issue 2
Pages 308-327
Keywords Platform capitalism; Crowdsourcing; Sharing economy; Gig economy; Platform economy; Ideology
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Published Journal Article (Early View) (375 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
Early View © 2022 The Authors. New Technology, Work and Employment published by Brian Towers (BRITOW) and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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