Centre for Internet & Society

Details of a session proposed for the Internet Researchers' Conference 2022 - #Home.

Internet Researchers' Conference 2022 - # Home - Call for Sessions


Session Type: Individual Paper Presentation


My ongoing fieldwork with taxi drivers in Delhi-NCR suggests that the “go-home” feature and its equivalent in platform apps such as Uber and Ola have generated a lot of interest. This feature matches drivers with rides to their preferred destinations – usually allowing drivers to choose one or two destinations of their choice in a working day (Uber India Help nd). In an environment of algorithmic governance where drivers feel a considerable loss of control and autonomy, this feature offers a semblance of control over their conditions of survival and mobility. Departing from the enthusiasm generated among platform taxi drivers, this paper explores what “home” signifies for platform cultures with specific attention to the social and material infrastructures that enable and contest “going home.” The “home,” as in other instances, conveys familiarity, comfort and (intimate) knowledges. How and why (if so) do platforms as an urban-digital-labour-capital interface rely on or negate these constructions? Does this arrangement offer an incremental step of negotiating interlocking conflicts and if so, how? In summary, this paper provisionally suggests that “home,” as a feature and as an idea, may have been introduced by platform companies but its possibilities are not circumscribed by their designs.


Uber India (nd): “Set a Driver Destination,” Uber India Help, viewed on 9 March 2022, https://help.uber.com/driving-and-delivering/article/set-a-driver-destination?nodeId=f3df375b-5bd4-4460-a5e9-afd84ba439b9 


Anurag Mazumdar is a doctoral candidate at the Department of Geography & GIS, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

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