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The lockdowns imposed by most governments during the Covid-19 pandemic have resulted in an unprecedented increase in teleworking. This spike in remote work has generally been greeted with enthusiasm by both academic and non-academic commentators and there is now a widely shared view that employers should be encouraged to retain and enhance the teleworking arrangements in the post-pandemic period. This paper examines the spread and normalization of telework during the pandemic with reference to the growth of the 24/7 work culture and the blurring of boundaries between work and private lives that have been developing in the last two decades or so. It is argued that the rise in remote work during the crisis is contributing to the movement towards 24/7 work and to the collapse of the boundary between professional and private life, particularly as a result of remote employee surveillance that comes with telework. It also results in a new form of alienation – the alienation of workers from their private homes.

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In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)
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Abstract

The gdpr today is commonly seen as a ‘gold standard’ of personal data regulation. While recognizing the importance of the gdpr, especially in affirming that personal data belongs to the individuals rather than commercial or public entities, this paper seeks to demonstrate that such a view is, nevertheless, problematic: first, what the gdpr, along with similar regulations inspired by it elsewhere, effectively does is help organise the functioning of the personal data market in which private user data continues to be commodified and used to generate massive profits by various firms and platforms; second, the gdpr does it in a paradigmatically neoliberal manner – public authorities create a legal framework for a market, and devolve the responsibility for managing negative consequences to the affected populations themselves, presenting it as their ‘empowerment’; third, just as it is often the case with neoliberal governmentality in other sectors, the tool provided by the gdpr to individuals to protect themselves – here the right to reject the terms of service (tos) of different providers – embodies and reproduces an asymmetric power relation between capital and society – here between service providers and users – and effectively ensures that individuals continue to acquiesce to the collection and commodification of their private data: on the one hand, the complexity of different tos, their ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ nature, length, etc., render the evaluation of privacy implications very difficult for individual users; second, in some cases, the rejection of tos is impossible because access to the service in question is indispensable, as in the case of platform workers. Users mechanically click ‘Accept’ which is seen as an instance of ‘informed consent,’ and which in turn makes the collection and monetization of personal data legal.

In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)
Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS) encourages transversal social inquiries. The journal seeks to transcend disciplinary, linguistic and cultural fragmentations characteristic of scholarship in the 20th century. It aspires to reinvigorate scholarly engagements untroubled by canonic approaches and to provide a space for outstanding scholarship, marginalized elsewhere due to academic conventions. PARISS seeks to promote a plurality of ways of thinking, researching and writing and to give access to contemporary authors in the social sciences coming from non-English-speaking countries. The editors encourage contributions that write across disciplines, academic cultures and writing styles. Innovative and collective research is particularly welcome.

PARISS is published in cooperation with the Centre d’étude sur les Conflits — Liberté et Sécurité (CCLS).

The editors welcome individually authored or co-authored articles (up to 3 authors; approximately 7,000-11,000 words including footnotes) and collectively authored articles (3+ authors; 10,000-25,000 words including footnotes), as well as book reviews, interviews, commentaries, and shorter articles focused on research methodologies (all up to 5,000 words).

For editorial queries and proposals, please contact the PARISS Editorial Office.
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