A sociologist shares stories from members of the new American underclass.

In misclassifying workers as independent contractors rather than employees, Ravenelle writes, sharing economy platforms rob workers of bargaining power and force them into dangerous, even criminal, circumstances. Per Hustle and Gig, the casualization of labor makes for a regression to pre-New Deal workplace predation, with laborers treated as expendable and replaceable. In an interview with The Outline, Ravenelle spoke about the implications of her research, why the sharing economy remains poorly regulated, and the enduring stigma of gig work.

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