Marie Jahoda Visiting Fellows work with Digit researchers to address real world problems related to digital futures at work.

Fellows are appointed to focus on a specific problem or challenge. Past topics include digital surveillance at work, blockchain skills in the UK and Ireland, and how AI technologies may shape the roles of HR professionals.

The Fellowships have been established with an investment from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Benefits of our fellowships

We have appointed three cohorts of Marie Jahoda Visiting Fellows (in 2021, 2022 and 2023) with research contributions that complement or extend our core research programme. We support Fellowships that are innovative, with a clear contribution to knowledge in Digit’s research area, and engage with Digit’s researchers.

In return, the Fellows benefit from:

  • opportunities for collaboration with Digit researchers
  • in-person visit to the institution of a Digit partner
  • access to research and networks of Digit and associated members
  • an active programme of support for mid and early career researchers
  • access to Digit’s internal training sessions
  • opportunities to contribute to our Working Paper series
  • support with communications and dissemination of any resulting work and outputs
  • opportunities to make use of Digit’s communications platforms and networks

These visiting fellowships commemorate the ground breaking work of the social psychologist Marie Jahoda (1907-2001), an emeritus Professor at the University of Sussex Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU). Her research focused on social and technological forecasting and the social psychological consequences of prolonged unemployment.

Her classic work Marienthal (1932/1977), conducted with Paul Lazarsfeld and Hans Zeisel, examined the psychological consequences of unemployment in an industrial district of Vienna in the 1920s and 1930s. Using a range of innovative methods at the time, she argued for the fundamental importance of regular work. It was not just the monetary rewards it provided, but the way it structured time, shaped a sense of personal identity and worth, enabled social contacts, collective purposes and social status that were essential for well-being and mental health.

On being released from prison in Nazi controlled Vienna in 1937 she came to England where she conducted research on unemployed miners, voluntary societies and school to work transitions, while also running a secret radio station at the Ministry of Information. She emigrated to the United States in 1946 working as a researcher at the American Jewish Committee, Columbia University, and as a Professor of Social Psychology at New York University where she founded the Research Centre for Human Relations.

Returning to Britain in 1958 she went on to establish a sandwich degree programme at what became Brunel University. Students applied their academic studies to real world problems by spending time in schools, prisons, hospitals and in industry.

With Chris Freeman she co-authored ‘World Futures: The Great Debate’ (1977), which remains the definitive text on methods of forecasting; and coedited Technology and the Future of Europe: Competition and the Global Environment in the 1990s.

She became a member of the Social Science Research Council in 1968. Her work was awarded the prestigious Kurt Lewin Memorial Award from the American Psychological Association and she was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Sussex in 1973. She received a CBE in 1974.

The Guardian obituary: Marie Jahoda

To find out more about their research projects, follow the link to the Fellows’ profiles:

  • Adele Whelan (Economic & Social Research Institute (Ireland)) “Blockchain skills in the UK and Ireland”
  • Amany Elbanna (Royal Holloway University of London) “AI & the Reshaping of work”
  • Andrew Pakes (Prospect Union) “The new normal – worker experiences of digital surveillance”
  • Asiya Islam (University of Cambridge) “Work from/at/for home: Women, e-retail, and the future of work in urban India.”
  • Caroline Murphy (University of Limerick) “Technology, Time and Care in the Future of Work”
  • Chris Tilly (UCLA) “The reorganization of store-based retail work in the context of technological change and Covid-19”
  • Hong Yu Liu (University of Cambridge) “Researching the impact of AI and workplace technologies on knowledge workers: A case study of Amazon UK”
  • Mariana Fernandez Massi (Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET)) “Labour unrest on platforms: considerations from South America”
  • Wei Wei (University of Oxford) “Business strategies, work rules and worker outcomes in the Chinese ride-hailing sector”
  • Wieteke Conen (University of Amsterdam) “The value of work: working in the Digital Era”
  • Nahuel Aranda (Universidad Nacional de Córdoba) “Automation, labour process transformations and composition of the working force in the Argentine manufacturing industry 1980-2010: the case of ARCOR”
  • Zhen Jie Im (Copenhagen Business School) “Digital divides: socially-divided perceptions towards digital solution and consequences on the digital solutions to tackle climate change”
  • Vellah Kedogo Kigwiru (Hochschule für Politik München an der Technischen Universität München) “The Potential and Limits of Competition Law in Improving the Working Conditions of Digital Labour Platform Workers: The Case of Kenya e-Hailing and Food Delivery Platforms”
  • Swati Chintala (New York University) “The State and the Platform Economy in India: Analysis of Law and Policy”
  • Maarten Renkema (University of Twente) “How AI technologies are likely to shape the future roles of HR professionals”
  • Steven Rolf (University of Sussex) “Between two superpowers: A comparative study of the geo/politics of EU and UK platform governance”
  • Sudipa Sarkar (National Law School of India University, India) “The Impact of Digitalisation of Work on Disadvantaged Social Groups: Evidence from Indian Data”
  • Hanne Stegeman (University of Amsterdam) “Spatialising labour markets in digital (sexual) labour: a multi-country study”
  • Rae Cooper (University of Sydney Business School) “Manager capability to lead in the future of work”
  • Ivana Pais (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore) “Home care digital platforms and industrial relations in UK”
  • Kai-Hsin Hung (HEC Montréal) “Responsible and Human-Centered AI: Accounting for the Quality of Work in the Data Value Chain of Artificial Intelligence”
  • Silvana Galeano Alfonso (University of Buenos Aires) “Gender inequalities and digital futures of work in the Global South: A comparative study of platform work in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Delhi, India”