I joined the dperatment in 2014. I am a trained sociologist. My research concerns precarious work in the gig economy and beyond. I am interested in the emerging varieties of automation, the related power structures, and how they are impacting on work and life. The integrity of teaching and research is crucial to my pedagogical approaches.
My teaching covers the broad range of sociology of work.
My core areas are:
- Sociology of Work
- Social Theory
- HRM and Public Sector
- (International) Employee Relations
- Surveillance Studies
My reserach interests are in the broad area of changing work and employment structures. Over the last years, I did research the impact of the implementation of New Public Management on public servants in different nations and sectors (police, waste collection, energy). More recently, I started to investigate in the effects robotics-led workplaces will have on job quality. I am also interested in reseraching trade unions, particularly in terms of their representational and oragnisational capacities. My reserach relies on inter-disciplinary as well as international collaborations.
- Upskilling and intensification of work; are robots the answer?
- Precariousness in relation: Collective sense-making as cruel optimism
- Research Affiliate
- Data Justice Week Edinburgh - session Digital Labour
- Pesticides, poisoning and the politics of agrichemicals between Europe and Brazil
- “Pesticides, poisoning and the politics of agrichemicals between Europe and Brazil”
more professional activities
- Pesticide, labour and public health
- Garvey, Brian (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator)
- Interdisciplinary, strategic research project to link hazardous chemicals to agricultural workplace risk
- 01-Jan-2019 - 31-Jan-2019
- Who cares? Platform work and Low-income home service work in the digital economy
- Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Houij Gueddana, Wifak (Principal Investigator) Hall, Miranda (CoI) Stewart, James (Academic)
- Despite the rapid platform takeover of reproductive work, i.e. child and elderly care, domestic work and sex work, there has been little research to date on the way in which the vulnerabilities and opportunities of platform work are shaped by gender, race and class. Public debates on the ‘gig economy’ have overwhelmingly focused on unicorn startups such as Uber and Deliveroo which have a predominantly male workforce. Yet, in the UK, women make up over half of gig workers (52% Huws et al 2017) and their experiences have been overlooked. This gap critically limits the ability of policy-makers and trade unions or campaigning organisations to understand the economic, social and working conditions of those using platforms and apps to work in the context of broader labour market issues.
There is need for a deeper understanding of how these technologies come to reproduce the rigid gendered and unequal labour markets where the hidden work of migrant and BAME women in low-income home service sectors remains invisible, undervalued, underpaid and under-protected. There is potential for the exploitative dynamics of these sectors to be amplified as, for example, online profiles and rating systems generate new forms of abuse and discrimination (Mateescu and Ticona 2018) or platform mediation enables wage theft and the further erosion of protections (Van Doorn, 2017).
This project brings together a cross-disciplinary research collaboration to provide first empirical insights using an innovative methodological toolbox of alternative forum data and interviews to explore parts of a vulnerable labour force so far hidden in the media hype on the gig economy. Through workshops and policy roundtables we will share our findings and identify key challenges with relevant stakeholders to fuel future grassroots campaigns, inform policy and shape the design of new technologies.
- 01-Jan-2019 - 30-Jan-2020
- Back to the Future? Creating sustainable economies
- MacLean, Gavin (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Principal Investigator)
- By investigating into crofting communities, this project aims at learning in how far alternative ecomonies rely on work ethics and values. The Project will add to the debates about the post-work Society and find out how ties are made and Held up in spaces already to be understood as beyond existings modes of work.
- 01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2019
- Work, Employment and Employment Law in Retail Fulfilment Centres - UK and India
- Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Newsome, Kirsty (Principal Investigator) Busby, Nicole (Co-investigator) Minz, Johnson (Co-investigator) Paul, Bino (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2016 - 31-Jan-2018
- Employment, Work and Working Conditions in Retail Fulfilment Centres in the UK
- Taylor, Philip (Principal Investigator) Briken, Kendra (Co-investigator) Newsome, Kirsty (Co-investigator)
- 01-Jan-2015 - 31-Jan-2017
Work, Employment and Organisation
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