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Digital labour in the Philippines: Emerging forms of brokerage


  • Soriano, Cheryll Ruth


This article examines and theorises the relationships across three distinct forms of labour brokerage emerging in the digital platform labour economy: platform intermediation, ‘skill-making’, and ‘re-outsourcing’. Drawing from a four-year digital ethnography on online freelancing and platform labour in the Philippines, one of the largest labour supplying countries globally, I pay special attention to how platform labour control emerges as a process that is constituted in the brokerage relationships at multiple scales between global capital, local capital, community and family units, and emerging organised networks of workers and influencers on social media. The article examines the materiality of platform labour and the local informal economy that give rise to these forms of brokerage. I also describe how brokerage processes set norms and standards in this largely unregulated sector, thereby playing a role in how labour mobility or precarity are made possible and organised. The article seeks to contribute to the knowledge about the digital work system involving a significant number of Filipinos by capturing the situated dialectical power relations of the global spread of platform-mediated labour management.

Suggested Citation

  • Soriano, Cheryll Ruth, 2021. "Digital labour in the Philippines: Emerging forms of brokerage," MediArXiv s4379, Center for Open Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:osf:mediar:s4379
    DOI: 10.31219/

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