Video: Peer Economy Takeaways from My Summer Research

(x-posted from the Civic blog.)

Comparative Media Studies kicked off the 2013 academic year yesterday with orientation presentations. The second-year grad students pulled together a 10-minute presentation about their thesis topic and summer research and then presented to faculty, staff and incoming graduate students.

I thought you’d be interested!

RE: points in the video…

  • César Hidalgo (Media Lab: Macroconnections) and I have been discussing whether “political economy” is the right term, or if something like “political science” would be a better fit in understanding the agenda, political influence and different sorts of power involved in systems. While political science seems to get at it better (economy would mean incentives, etc.), we’re not completely satisfied with that term either.
  • On the potential behavioral demographic research, this is just a possibility of many things I may be doing this semester (lots of exciting updates to come!). The crucial factor for me is whether the resolution of this data will be high enough to map to geographic locations. I’m interested in rate of participation. I had to cut out a parallel example from the video, but I likened it to the rate of smart phone adoption. Technological and creative classes (closely correlated with class and privilege) were the first to adopt, but the rate was actually highest among low-income.
Denise Cheng

About Denise Cheng

At MIT, Denise explored how to configure a worker support infrastructure around people who earn income through Etsy, Airbnb, TaskRabbit, UberX and other peer-to-peer marketplaces. She has built strong relationships across the space with city governments, foundations, investors, startups, policy analysts and labor advocacy organizations. As a a former Peace Corps volunteer, the project lead of a well-reputed citizen journalism outlet, an entrepreneurial fellow with CUNY J-School, and many other stints on the way to MIT, her roots are in the future of news, media/digital literacy, media justice, and community building. Denise holds a B.Phil in Cultural and Participatory Journalism from Miami University of Ohio and an M.S. in Comparative Media Studies from MIT. She is affiliated with the MIT Center for Civic Media and MacroConnections at Media Lab. Like a moth to a flame, she is drawn to DIY media, neighborhoods, design of all types and creating frameworks—media expression or fulfilling work—that enable people to pursue what they find meaningful. Thesis: Reading Between the Lines: Blueprints for a Worker Support Infrastructure in the Peer Economy


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