Shifting Gears Under the Sharing Economy: Reshaping Class Identities of Uber Drivers

Sharpless, Violet [Browse]
Senior thesis


Duneier, Mitchell [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Sociology [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
This paper explores the class-related identities of Uber drivers, as well as their motivations for joining this organization. During fifty Uber rides, interviews with drivers were conducted, and Uber drivers were divided into three general types that are loosely related to class distinctions: Comfys, Temps, and Full-Timers. These three distinctions illuminate the way drivers are drawn to Uber for different reasons, some non-economic. All of these findings help explore the extreme diversity in class background that Uber drivers represent, and as such challenge the traditional expectations of class makeup in the car service industry. In this way, through anecdotes and interviews with Uber drivers, this paper gestures to Uber’s influence in reshaping class distinctions under the sharing economy. This reshaping complicates and broadens sociological understandings of the type of person that works as a driver within the car service industry.

Supplementary Information