Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work

Alex Rosenblat (Author)


Silicon Valley technology is transforming the way we work, and Uber is leading the charge. An American startup that promised to deliver entrepreneurship for the masses through its technology, Uber instead built a new template for employment using algorithms and Internet platforms. Upending our understanding of work in the digital age, Uberland paints a future where any of us might be managed by a faceless boss.

The neutral language of technology masks the powerful influence algorithms have across the New Economy. Uberland chronicles the stories of drivers in more than twenty-five cities in the United States and Canada over four years, shedding light on their working conditions and providing a window into how they feel behind the wheel. The book also explores Uber's outsized influence around the world: the billion-dollar company is now influencing everything from debates about sexual harassment and transportation regulations to racial equality campaigns and labor rights initiatives.

Based on award-winning technology ethnographer Alex Rosenblat's firsthand experience of riding over 5,000 miles with Uber drivers, daily visits to online forums, and face-to-face discussions with senior Uber employees, Uberland goes beyond the headlines to reveal the complicated politics of popular technologies that are manipulating both workers and consumers.

Product Details

$19.95  $18.35
University of California Press
Publish Date
October 15, 2019
5.5 X 0.8 X 8.5 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Alex Rosenblat is a technology ethnographer. A researcher at the Data & Society Research Institute, she holds an MA in sociology from Queen's University and a BA in history from McGill University. Rosenblat's writing has appeared in media outlets such as the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, the Atlantic, Slate, and Fast Company. Her research has received attention worldwide and has been covered in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, MIT Technology Review, WIRED, New Scientist, and the Guardian. Many scholarly and professional publications have also published her prizewinning work, including the International Journal of Communication and the Columbia Law Review.


"A timely, accessible analysis of a Silicon Valley innovator that disrupted an industry."-- "GeekWire"
"Functions as an examination of both how Uber's algorithms are changing the way companies operate and exert control over their workers and how those workers are experiencing these changes."-- "Slate"
"This jargon-free and intriguing exposΓ© offers food for thought for anyone interested in worker protections or societal changes driven by technology."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"A timely look at the tensions between technology and the future of employment, and how ambitious startups might be changing the way we see and value work."-- "Mother Jones" (11/3/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"If you care about the future of work, read Uberland by Alex Rosenblat."--Theodore Kinni, Strategy + Business "Mother Jones" (11/3/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"Rosenblat's book is a combination of sociological analysis, excerpts from Uber-driver online forums, communications with Uber executives and employees, and an avalanche of in-person interviews with drivers from all over the United States and Canada. Her analysis isn't a polemic; it is balanced and measured."--Theodore Kinni, Strategy + Business "Los Angeles Review of Books" (1/14/2019 12:00:00 AM)
"A fine work of technology ethnography. . . As someone who believes that technology is a positive force for driving change, I'll admit to being deeply disturbed by reading Uberland."--Theodore Kinni, Strategy + Business "Inside Higher Education" (12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM)
"The most important recent book written about Uber is undoubtedly Alex Rosenblat's Uberland: How Algorithms Are Rewriting the Rules of Work, which unflinchingly exposes how Uber takes ruthless advantage of its drivers."--Theodore Kinni, Strategy + Business "Medium/The Startup" (12/12/2018 12:00:00 AM)