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Global Digital Cultures offers regular research seminars in which work-in-progress papers from junior and senior researchers at the UvA are discussed. The monthly GDC research seminars are aimed at discussing work-in-progress on global digital cultures. During each of these seminars, we will discuss two draft texts, seeking to include a dialogue between senior and junior scholars. As usual, we will discuss two work-in-progress texts by UvA colleagues.
Event details of GDC Research Seminar Series
28 September 2023
15:00 -17:00

These sessions feature research on global digital cultures from a wide variety of scholarly disciplines, theoretical perspectives, and methodological approaches. During each of these events, we will discuss two draft texts, seeking to include a mix of senior and junior scholars.

For our upcoming GDC Seminar on September 28, from 15:00 - 17:00 we will discuss works in progress by Margherita DI Cicco and Martin Trans.

Margherita Di Cicco is a Ph.D candidate in Sociology at the University of Milan, researching sex work in the platform economy through qualitative methods.

"It's not a job that you can take off": freedom and precarity of sex workers in the platform economy
This chapter explores how digital platforms have reconfigured sexual labour and analyses how platforms’ specific business models and organizational features shape the subjective working experiences. Drawing from 35 in-depth interviews, it examines the shift to online services and compares two forms of digital sex work: webcam modelling and content creation on subscription platforms. Some participants in the study engaged in both in-person and online sex work, offering insights into the differences between these settings, which involve different safety concerns and distinctive performances of emotional labour. In the context of online sex work, both webcam streamers and content creators express mixed feelings about their professional well-being. On a practical level, the main differences between webcam work and content creation lie in the temporality of interactions and control over content accessibility. However, the crucial distinction is that while the main site of labour in webcam modelling is constituted by webcam platforms themselves, adult content creators are compelled to engage with multiple platforms to monetize their following, exemplifying the infrastructural ecology at the heart of platformisation. 

Martin Trans (rMA, UvA) is interested in the intersection of (digital) humanities and social sciences, inspired by critical data studies, STS and digital methods.

Datafying Groceries: Consumers’ Willingness to Participate in Loyalty Programs
How do young adult consumers residing in the Netherlands imagine and value their data? What are they willing to disclose about themselves for that sweet, sweet korting (discount) in the smartphone app by Albert Heijn? This paper examines everyday consumer experiences and conceptualizations of purchasing patterns in the context of increased datafication, emphasizing its role in shaping social life. Positioning customer loyalty as a new frontier of mundane datafication, and expanding upon existing literature on surveillance capitalism, data-barters and digital resignation, this paper makes a two-fold contribution. Theoretically it provides a definition of the novel concept of situated socio-technical data imaginaries, proposing a typology of four idea type data-imaginaries. Empirically the paper offers thick descriptions of data imaginaries, and a quali- quantitative analysis of more than 6900 tweets and 10 semi-structured interviews.

If you would like to attend the seminar series, you can RSVP using the link above.

Following your registration, you will receive information about the event location and participating scholars. You will also receive an e-mail with a link to download the texts. 

We would like to ask you to read these texts in advance to ensure a smooth and rich discussion and to kindly refrain from sharing them publicly, as they include work in progress. 

The discussion will be followed by drinks!

If you have any questions, drop us an e-mail at