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Theoretical & Methodological Approaches to Virtual Work
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IS1202 Training School on Virtual Work

Theoretical and Methodological Approaches to the Study of Virtual Work

University of Malta, 16-20 September 2013

Information and communication technologies have given rise to new types of paid and unpaid 'digital' or 'virtual' labour. They range from online prosumer work and service co-creation to game labour and the exploitation of global wage differences through digital microwork. These new forms of labour exemplify shifts in the borderlines between 'play' and 'work', as well as in 'employment' and 'entrepreneurship', and have significant implications to private life, global development and the nature of work in general. Because of the gender division of labour, they also affect women and men differently.

The objective of this training school is to prepare doctoral students and postdocs from a variety of disciplines to carry out successful research in the cross-disciplinary field of virtual work studies. Virtual work is a multi-faceted phenomenon: in addition to one's own disciplinary background, successful researchers must also understand key contributions from neighbouring disciplines. In this training school, participants will obtain grounding in the most important theoretical perspectives, as well as receive instruction in cutting-edge methodological approaches. Participants will also present their own work, network with other emerging scholars and some of the preeminent scholars in the field, and discuss publication venues, funding strategies and other building blocks of a successful academic career.

The Training School on Virtual Work takes place at the University of Malta and its beautiful Mediterranean surroundings. The school is funded by the  IS1202 COST Action on the Dynamics of Virtual Work. Funding for travel and participation is available to eligible doctoral students and postdocs. Click here for more information.

Major theoretical approaches:


Novel methodological approaches:

Participants will receive practical instruction in selected cutting-edge methodological approaches to the study of virtual work. Planned approaches:

Crowdsourcing: crowdsourcing sites as a data source as well as as a practical tool for data analysis

Big Data: using publicly available real-time data sources in virtual work research

Value chain analysis: moving from analysing single cases to entire value chains across geographies and organizational boundaries


Important Dates

24th May 2013 - Deadline for applications for funding.  See details here.

30th May 2013 - Notification of grant selection results.  Each applicant will be contacted personally about the outcome of his/her application.

16th September 2013 - Training school commences


Organising committee

Dr Vili Lehdonvirta, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Dr Mark Micallef, Department of Computer Science, University of Malta




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