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Department of Geography

Khaoula Ettarfi
Khaoula Ettarfi
PhD candidate

Labour Geography

Tel.: 044 635 51 44
Room number: Y25 L 70


As part of the labor geography research group, my research focuses on the socio-spatial dimensions of labor, particularly on the current platformization of labor in the care market. I am also interested in engaging in debates that draw on feminist political economy and anti-racist scholarship.

Ph.D. project: Care and Domestic Work as on-demand services: Experiences and Working Realities of Workers in Geneva

My Ph.D. project examines how platform-mediated care and domestic labor (re)shape the lives of workers. The focus will be on platforms that match clients with workers who provide domestic services and/or caregiving services for children and seniors in the 'global city' of Geneva in Switzerland.Digital labor platforms are emerging in the care and domestic markets, promoting themselves under the banner of fighting informality and precarity. However, platform-mediated labor is increasingly criticized for eroding employment relationships, increasing value extraction and jeopardizing workers’ autonomy. Emerging research on care and domestic work platforms is slowly starting to uncover some of the arising issues with which workers are confronted. Data shows that similarly to other digital labor platforms, domestic and care work platforms exert control over the workers using rating systems and trust metrics, platform fees and terms of service as disciplinary tools. It remains unclear what forms of platform visibility workers benefit from and the privacy risks associated with them.

The empirical phase of the project will be based on conducting semi-structured interviews with workers who find work through digital platforms. The analysis will draw together theoretical concepts and frameworks from social reproduction theory, digital geographies, and scholarship on racial capitalism and conceptualizations of the ‘otherwise’.


since 2021: University of Zürich. Ph.D. candidate in Labour Geography

2018: University of Geneva, MA in socioeconomics with an orientation in demography 


Oscillating between struggle and possibility in the on-demand cleaning economy.Global Perspectives on Platforms, Labor and Social Reproduction, Amsterdam (June 2023)

Working with the trouble: practices and relationships of (in)formality in the context of domestic services platforms in Geneva. 9th Ethnography and Qualitative Research International Conference, Trento (June 2023)

Everyday rehearsals of resilience in the on-demand cleaning market in Geneva.AAG Annual Meeting, Denver/online (January 2023).

How does platformization shape the socio-spatial experience of work at the level of the everyday? The Centennial World Geography Congress of the International Geographical Union, Paris (July 2022)