Traversing the (racist) 'workplace' : Web of discrimination among ethnic minority food deliverers during post- COVID-19

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentation


The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has provided job opportunities especially for South Asian food delivery workers in Hong Kong. It has also put these racial minority workers in additional layers of precarities, which also aggravated and unravelled the layers of embedded racism in Hong Kong. This paper is based on a research conducted on the job satisfaction and security of mainly South Asian food 'runners' in Hong Kong. Combining quantitative and qualitative analyses, it discusses how the algorithmically-controlled platformed economy could combine online with offline injustices has created additional stress and sense of insecurity among racial minority (gig) worker. The perceived discrimination among these workers reveals the deeply entrenched 'everyday racism' in society, which these workers find themselves 'trapped' in. The paper would conclude by arguing how neo-liberalized infrastructural capitalism, manifest in the 'app-ified' management, amplified racial injustices of racial minority (gig) workers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2022
EventHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference: Health and Wellbeing in (Post-) Pandemic Times - Lingnan University, Hong Kong, China
Duration: 3 Dec 20223 Dec 2022
Conference number: 23


ConferenceHong Kong Sociological Association 23rd Annual Conference
CityHong Kong
OtherAs an unprecedented public health crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the focal concern of sociologists around the world. Globally, there have been over six hundred million confirmed cases, including over six million of deaths. Over the past few years, we have experienced the tremendous impacts brought by the pandemic on various domains of life. Apart from infected and death cases, we have seen a surge of mental health issues, suicides, domestic violence, as well as plummeting economic growth and escalating unemployment and poverty rates. Whether to embrace the “new normal” by easing public health and social distancing measures is a contentious issue as much among world leaders as ordinary citizens. From a sociological perspective, most impacts brought by the pandemic are believed to be structural and long lasting. As not everyone has equal access to vaccines, personal protective equipment, healthcare and other resources, health and social inequalities are expected to be worsening. There are also concerns about the lack of affordable childcare and technological equipment for attending online classes during pandemic times, which would have lingering effects on education, digital, and social inequalities across generations.

Against this background, this conference aims to address the pressing issues of health and wellbeing in pandemic and post-pandemic times from a sociological perspective. It provides a platform for scholars, students, and other stakeholders to discuss the implications of the pandemic for health and social inequalities among other issues. On that basis, participants will explore practical and policy responses to enhance health and wellbeing in the (post-)pandemic condition.
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