What difference will this project make?

I cannot promise that my project will make an immediate, tangible difference, as I am aware of the possibilities but also limitations researchers face when seeking to contribute to social change. I wish to bring further evidence in the public domain with regards to the impact of work-related government policies, and the views and experiences that disabled, neurodiverse & chronically ill workers hold regarding work and the bodymind.

I will seek to act as a sounding board for the accounts given by the participants in the study. The accounts are based on participants’ concrete knowledge of the implications of the politics of disablement, and doing Gig Economy work. This project is about being an ally to these accounts and using my position within the academy and outside to bring these experiences to other people’s attention – to expand the network of allies and to emphasise the need for collective action. I want to bring participants’ accounts to a wide variety of spaces, such as work and disability-related groups, academic settings, trade unions, and government-related institutions.

By learning about participants’ experiences, I can also teach (if teaching opportunities are available) students about the politics of disability & work, join researchers and activists in talking about work in a way that is informed by the vantage point of disabled, neurodiverse & chronically ill people, and put pressure (individually and with others) on decision-makers to make the UK a better place for disabled gig economy workers and implicitly for everyone else.

We are only as strong as the links between members and allies of the disability and labour movements (alongside other social movements). Given that this is a qualitative (not quantitative) study, the aim of the interviews & diary entries is to create a snapshot and a deeper understanding of these experiences without claiming that they represent the entire population of disabled, neurodiverse and chronically ill workers.

Experiences (embodied knowledge) of disablement, chronic illness and neurodiversity are intrinsically linked to and differently experienced by individuals based on their respective social position, job role(s), identity/ies, and migration status. Given this, I‘m seeking to interview participants from different walks of life, to highlight the links b/w the matters mentioned in the previous tweet (to the extent possible, given time and PhD-related logistical constraints).

‪I would like to particularly encourage participation of Gig Economy disabled, neurodiverse and/or chronically ill workers who are:‬ ‪D/deaf, Trans, Non-binary, queer, Latinx, Black, Asian, Refugee, migrant, people of colour, Traveller, Gypsy, Roma.‬

In terms of job roles – among others, I am interested in interviewing workers who are: foster carers, sex workers, couriers, agricultural/seasonal workers (as these are areas of work that I have not had interviews about yet). 

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