This chapter examines the discourse practices of the “sharing economy” while considering competing conceptualisations such as the “platform economy”, the “gig economy”, the “taking economy”, “crowdsourcing” and “crowdworking”. The main aim of the study is to identify the reasons for the foregrounding of ethically connotated terms such as “sharing”, “members” and “community”, while the terminology of employment law is relegated to the background. Bhatia’s concept of interdiscursivity is adopted to point out that the legal discourse associated with the management of traditional (bricks-and-mortar) firms is increasingly confined to the Terms and Conditions of Use of online platforms, whereas the discourse that is foregrounded is a “caring, sharing” narrative framed in terms of philanthropy, at odds with the revenue streams generated by these platforms. The study examines the characterisation of (low paid) riders and drivers (Foodora, Deliveroo, Uber), casting light on the fact that the terminology of employment law is either resemanticised or completely eliminated, and the employment status of drivers, riders and delivery staff is downgraded to that of “independent contractors” and “community members” by means of company policies that are an occluded genre not in the public domain. The study also examines the use of the term “community” in the “homesharing” sector, exemplified by AirBnB, that also claims to pursue philanthropic ends. In the case of Deliveroo, the company policy resemanticising the employment relationship for the purposes of dissimulation was inadvertently made available in the public domain, making it possible to gain insight into these discourse practices. The resemanticisation of the enterprise is seen as a deliberate policy to enable the online platforms to avoid granting employment rights to riders and drivers, whose attempts to resist the dominant narrative have been upheld by the courts in a number of recent cases.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2020|
|Titolo:||The Sharing Economy: Resemanticising the Enterprise|
|Autore/i:||BROMWICH, William John|
|Titolo del libro:||The Context and Media of Legal Discourse|
|A cura di:||Girolamo Tessuto, Vijay K. Bhatia, Ruth Breeze, Nicholas Brownlees and Martin Solly|
|Editore:||Cambridge Scholars Publishing|
|Nazione editore:||REGNO UNITO DI GRAN BRETAGNA|
|Citazione:||The Sharing Economy: Resemanticising the Enterprise / BROMWICH, William John. - 1(2020), pp. 118-135.|
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