Hitesh Potdar

Thesis Title: Sustaining Livelihoods in the Gig Economy: A Case Study of Paid Domestic Workers and Their Crisis of Social Reproduction in India

Abstract:The emergence of the platform economy or gig work notes a paradigm shift in nature of work marked with flexible work as well as subjecting the workers to algorithmic control. Gig workers are improperly classified as ‘self-employed’ or ‘independent partners/contractors,’ which excludes them from fundamental employment rights and state social security benefits. The state’s withdrawal from providing social goods distinguishes the neoliberal framework, with the result that capitalist market relations increasingly exploit social reproduction. Thus, my study aims to understand how the conditions of ‘home,’ as the locus of social reproduction activities, influence the daily working lives of gig workers and their livelihoods, as well as how the vagaries of gig work influence social relations at home. Due to the fact that women make up the majority of the self-employed workforce in this industry and among paid domestic workers, the study focuses on a gig platform for paid domestic workers. The study will consider the growing pressure placed on PDWs’ SR in a platform economy and how they have developed different coping mechanisms to support their families and regenerative processes. The study investigates how the state functions in a deregulated Indian economy in terms of the reproduction of social relations and labour force.

Social media: https://www.linkedin.com/in/hitesh-d-potdar-b90327b1/

Pathway: Pathway 10: IDHS

Cohort: 2023-24