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In Hustle and Gig, Alexandrea J. Ravenelle shares the personal stories of nearly eighty predominantly millennial workers from Airbnb, Uber, TaskRabbit, and Kitchensurfing. Their stories underline the volatility of working in the gig economy: the autonomy these young workers expected has been usurped by the need to maintain algorithm-approved acceptance and response rates. The sharing economy upends generations of workplace protections such as worker safety; workplace protections around discrimination and sexual harassment; the right to unionize; and the right to redress for injuries. Discerning three types of gig economy workers—Success Stories, who have used the gig economy to create the life they want; Strugglers, who can’t make ends meet; and Strivers, who have stable jobs and use the sharing economy for extra cash—Ravenelle examines the costs, benefits, and societal impact of this new economic movement. Poignant and evocative, Hustle and Gig exposes how the gig economy is the millennial’s version of minimum-wage precarious work.
"Hustle and Gig vividly exposes the contradictions between the lofty promises of gig work for those with high social and cultural capital (e.g., Airbnb and Kitchensurfing workers) and the darker reality of many who struggle to make ends meet through platforms such as Uber and TaskRabbit."—Arne L. Kalleberg, author of Precarious Lives
"Hustle and Gig takes a smart, penetrating look at what’s happening in the platform economy—how it resembles an earlier industrial age when workers toiled long hours doing piecework for meager pay while lacking many basic protections. This book sheds a much-needed light onto some dark corners of the gig economy."—Steven Greenhouse, author of Beaten Down, Worked Up
"Ravenelle demonstrates an understanding of both local and global instances of emotional labor and precarious workplace challenges. Readers from every walk of life will respond to these excellent connections."—Tamara R. Mose, author of The Playdate and Raising Brooklyn
"Upends the slick rhetoric of micro-entrepreneurship and flexibility to reveal the seamy underside of providers’ actual experiences—sexual harassment, uncompensated workplace injuries, client criminality, and extreme economic insecurity. These unforgettable narratives should reset the conversation about this new type of work."—Juliet Schor, author of Plenitude