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Melissa Gregg

Domestic enterprise in a data centric world

After 100 years of paid work outside the home, the prospect of working from home is on the rise. With the growing dominance of online connectivity and smart devices in the domestic realm, we are starting to see a return to pre-industrial means of subsistence as individuals increasingly make a living from multiple income streams, supported by patrons, donors and guilds. Whether it is YouTubers or Twitch streamers broadcasting themselves to subscribers or small business owners living off Etsy and Instagram, home-based enterprise is a reality across the globe. This talk will give an overview of the depth and variety of home enterprise from fieldwork in China, Europe and the US. It asks whether the next century will see a return to the home as a hub for commerce, trade and wealth accumulation, with what consequences.

Melissa Gregg is a writer, theorist and ethnographer who leads research and user-driven innovation in Intel’s Client Computing Group. Melissa was hired to Intel as a Principal Engineer and Research Director and is an internationally recognized scholar with over 50 peer reviewed academic publications and several books in gender and cultural studies, digital media and affect theory. The Affect Theory Reader (co-edited with Gregory J. Seigworth, Duke 2010) and Cultural Studies’ Affective Voices (Palgrave 2006) were inspired by the changing experience of knowledge work in corporate and university settings. Two further books, Work’s Intimacy (Polity 2011) – a three year ethnography of knowledge workers in Brisbane, Australia – and Counterproductive: Time Management in the Knowledge Economy (Duke 2018) focus on the convergence of personal and professional obligations with the rise of new mobile devices. Melissa’s research on technology users in home and office settings illustrates how self-management, productivity and personal logistics have become defining competencies for everyday life in an always-on world.

 

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