Understanding digital being

Please find below an invitation to a seminar in Manchester on:

Understanding digital being: questions of labour, work, and play

Date: Wednesday 6th of July

Time: 10am – 4pm.

Location: Castlefield Rooms, Manchester (near Deansgate locks)

There is a growing body of literature and empirical research that seeks to understand the impact of the digital being and the digital economy. This has prompted questions about labour, work, and the blurring of the boundaries between these and play. In this context there are a number of important changes to consider including the creation of new digital work, the transformation of existing forms of work in various ways, and the tensions between paid and unpaid labour.

Within this field of research there are contested definitions about what constitutes digital work and labour and how to understand the associated phenomena. These conceptual problems can hold back the potential for greater collaboration and empirical research. The changes that are the subject of these discussions are ongoing despite this, and theoretical and methodological research needs to be updated and renewed in this context.

The aim of this seminar is bring together researchers from across disciplines to begin addressing the future research challenges of labour, work, and play in the digital economy. This involves drawing on existing research on crowdsourcing platforms, digital creativity, the production of videogames, the growth of eSports, and labour process theory. In light of the forthcoming ESRC funding initiative around digital being, digital work and digital living, the intention of the day is to outline points of collaboration, future research, and discuss the challenges that need to be overcome in the process.

This is particularly important because critical research on labour and work in the UK for example is at risk of developing in different streams, lacking the communication between departments and analytical traditions that could strengthen future research. This seminar provides a way to collectively discuss the way forward, while sharing existing research.

The structure of the seminar will be as follows, ensuring plenty of time for debate and discussion:

  • Philosophy
  • Method
  • Practice

To register for the event or for further information please email:
a.greenhill@manchester.ac.uk or Jamie.woodcock@googlemail.com with your name, organisation, any special dietary requirements and contact information.