Brothers and broken dreams: Men, masculinity, and emotions in platform capitalism

Thi Quynh Trang Dinh, Janne Tienari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


How platform companies act as intermediaries between precarious workers and consumers has received critical attention in terms of the way companies exploit those who work for them and the ambiguity they create in the labor market. We study how male drivers, or “brothers,” in an intermediary platform that provides ride-hailing services in Vietnam discuss their work and lives on social media. We analyze how men experience getting stuck, not achieving their desired dignity, and being exploited, and how they enact masculinity through sharing emotions such as despair, anger, and shame in dealing with their experiences. We argue that this extends understanding of how platform capitalism is experienced by men in the Global South where many low-skilled jobs have always been precarious, but platform companies offer hope and dreams of freedom and prosperity. How men cope with broken dreams, grapple with challenges to their sense of masculinity, and seek to retain a sense of agency are important questions today.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalGender, Work & Organization
Publication statusPublished - 06.12.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • emotions
  • masculinity
  • men
  • platform capitalism
  • precarity
  • social media
  • Vietnam


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