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Gender, precarity and hybrid forms of work identity in the virtual domestic arts and crafts industry in Canada and the US

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Over the last several decades, there has been a growing recognition of the precarious nature of employment in creative economies, including craft industries. Despite this work, little research has explored how the rise of the platform economy is affecting labour market precarity. Our article explores the nature of precarity in craft blogging, looking in particular at the domestic arts and crafts. We examine how a growing number of women have left other forms of employment to engage in sewing, knitting, quilting, cooking and baking. Many women have also taken to blogging about their endeavors. However, there is a paucity of research on the variety of types of work that craft bloggers engage in and the challenges they face. Drawing upon interviews with female domestic arts bloggers in Canada and the United States, the article explores the work that craft bloggers engage in, the space and time of labour, and the variable sources of income that they access through their work. The article analyzes the experiences of precarious labour that arise at the interface of craft and the internet, and the multiple identities that stem from hybrid forms of creative work.
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Keywords: blogging; craft; creative labour; platform economy; precarity; women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography and Planning, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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