In recent years, several scholars have highlighted the necessity to scrutinize the practices and material settings in which algorithmic models are designed, in order to unpack the working activities and socio-cultural constructs underlying their production and deployment process. Drawing on a multisited ethnography, this paper investigates the practices of tech workers within the corporate environment of an internet television platform, the hierarchical relationships between different professional figures, and how these individuals frame algorithms and contribute to the enactment of these systems with their activities. Findings highlight the hierarchical organization of tech work and the subordination of operative figures to the goals imposed by business clients and to both internal and external forms of control. Specifically, it emerges how the subalternity of tech workers is materially and discursively constructed and forms of causal, dispositional and facilitative power exerted on them. In this environment, frictions, negotiations as well as concealing strategies by tech workers regarding the design and meaning of algorithms emerge, thus showing their cultural, contingent and multiple composition. Within the framework of Giddens’ structure/agency cycle, it is shown how everyday working activities and relationships contribute to the reproduction of hegemonic arrangements in the workplace, and how these hegemonic arrangements are at the core of algorithmic production, thus playing a key role in the framing, construction and enactment of these systems.

Algorithms and hegemony in the workplace: Negotiating design and values in an Italian television platform / Riccardo Pronzato. - In: BIG DATA & SOCIETY. - ISSN 2053-9517. - ELETTRONICO. - 10:1(2023), pp. 1-13. [10.1177/20539517231182393]

Algorithms and hegemony in the workplace: Negotiating design and values in an Italian television platform

Riccardo Pronzato
Primo
2023

Abstract

In recent years, several scholars have highlighted the necessity to scrutinize the practices and material settings in which algorithmic models are designed, in order to unpack the working activities and socio-cultural constructs underlying their production and deployment process. Drawing on a multisited ethnography, this paper investigates the practices of tech workers within the corporate environment of an internet television platform, the hierarchical relationships between different professional figures, and how these individuals frame algorithms and contribute to the enactment of these systems with their activities. Findings highlight the hierarchical organization of tech work and the subordination of operative figures to the goals imposed by business clients and to both internal and external forms of control. Specifically, it emerges how the subalternity of tech workers is materially and discursively constructed and forms of causal, dispositional and facilitative power exerted on them. In this environment, frictions, negotiations as well as concealing strategies by tech workers regarding the design and meaning of algorithms emerge, thus showing their cultural, contingent and multiple composition. Within the framework of Giddens’ structure/agency cycle, it is shown how everyday working activities and relationships contribute to the reproduction of hegemonic arrangements in the workplace, and how these hegemonic arrangements are at the core of algorithmic production, thus playing a key role in the framing, construction and enactment of these systems.
2023
Algorithms and hegemony in the workplace: Negotiating design and values in an Italian television platform / Riccardo Pronzato. - In: BIG DATA & SOCIETY. - ISSN 2053-9517. - ELETTRONICO. - 10:1(2023), pp. 1-13. [10.1177/20539517231182393]
Riccardo Pronzato
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/954485
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