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Digital Nomads Living on the Margins: Remote-Working Laptop Entrepreneurs in the Gig Economy

Beverly Yuen Thompson
Siena College, USA

Product Details
11 Jun 2021
Emerald Publishing Limited
176 pages - 152 x 229mm
Emerald Studies in Alternativity and Marginalization
In this increasingly neoliberal gig economy, exponentially expanding with technological advances, the ability to work online remotely has led some western millennials to travel the world to work and play, while making a subsistence living as digital platform workers. Digging beneath the superficial newspaper articles that highlight beach-bound, bikinied workers, adorned with laptops, this book asks, what are the social implications of adopting the subcultural lifestyle known as ‘Digital Nomadism’? 

This book explores the inherent social problems with this lifestyle. Examining how Digital Nomadism provides an individualistic fix for an otherwise downwardly-mobile millennial generation, Thompson demonstrates how this generation increasingly postpone markers of adulthood—purchasing a house, getting married, or having children—because of their financial insecurities. Thompson highlights that while being a Digital Nomad can provide a high quality of life while living on the beaches of Thailand, such avenues obscures their inabilities to afford a comfortable lifestyle in their home countries.
Chapter 1. Digital Nomads, Liquid Modernity, and the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Chapter 2. Western Millennials: Demographics and Socio-Economic Status 
Chapter 3. Digital Nomads: Outcasts of the Global Bazaar Economy 
Chapter 4. Bright Sided: Positive Psychology and Its Adaptation to Digital Nomadism 
Chapter 5. Laptops, Sunscreen, Surfboards, and Selfies: Travel, Tourism, and Leisure Practices of the Digital Nomads 
Chapter 6. Seeking Same: Digital Nomads Seek Community 
Chapter 7. Marginalized Identities, Social Justice, and Volun-tourism 
Chapter 8. Digital Nomads as Canaries in the Coalmine: Disruption and the Future of Work and Leisure
Beverly Yuen Thompson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Siena College, Albany, New York, USA. She is the author of Covered in Ink: Tattoos, Women and the Politics of the Body (New York University Press, 2015). She has published articles and book chapters on gender and subcultures in journals such as Sexualities, International Journal of the Sociology of Leisure, Asian Journal of Criminology, Contemporary Justice Review, Journal of Bisexuality, Frontiers: A Journal of Women’s Studies, and Qualitative Inquiry.

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