Beverly Yuen Thompson (Siena College, USA)

Digital Nomads Living on the Margins: Remote-Working Laptop Entrepreneurs in the Gig Economy

ISBN: 978-1-80071-546-2, eISBN: 978-1-80071-545-5

Publication date: 11 June 2021


Thompson, B.Y. (2021), "Prelims", Digital Nomads Living on the Margins: Remote-Working Laptop Entrepreneurs in the Gig Economy (Emerald Studies in Alternativity and Marginalization), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-ix.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021 Beverly Yuen Thompson

Half Title Page

Digital Nomads Living on the Margins

Series Page

Emerald Studies in Alternativity and Marginalization

Series Editors:

Samantha Holland, Leeds Beckett University, UK, and Karl Spracklen, Leeds Beckett University, UK

There is growing interest in work on transgression, liminality, and subcultural capital within cultural studies, sociology, and the social sciences more broadly. However, there is a lack of understanding of the problem of alternativity: what it means to be alternative in culture and society in modernity. What “alternative” looks like is often left unexplored. The alternative is either assumed un-problematically or stands in for some other form of social and cultural exclusion.

Alternativity delineates those spaces, scenes, subcultures, objects, and practices in modern society that are actively designed to be counter or resistive to mainstream popular culture. Alternativity is associated with marginalization, both actively pursued by individuals and imposed on individuals and subcultures. Alternativity was originally represented and constructed through acts of transgression and through shared subcultural capital. In contemporary society, alternative music scenes such as heavy metal, goth, and punk have spread around the world, and alternative fashions and embodiment practices are now adopted by footballers and fashion models. The nature of alternativity as a communicative lifeworld is now questioned in an age of globalization and hyper-commodification.

This book series provides a stimulus to new research and new theorizing on alternativity and marginalization. It provides a focus for scholars interested in sociological and cultural research that expands our understanding of the ontological status of spaces, scenes, subcultures, objects, and practices defined as alternative, liminal, or transgressive. In turn, the book series enables scholars to theorize about the status of the alternative in contemporary culture and society.

Titles in this series

Amanda DiGioia, Childbirth and Parenting in Horror Texts: The Marginalized and the Monstrous.

Karl Spracklen and Beverley Spracklen, The Evolution of Goth Culture: The Origins and Deeds of the New Goths.

Samantha Holland and Karl Spracklen (Eds), Subcultures, Bodies and Spaces: Essays on Alternativity and Marginalization.

Stephen Brown and Marie-Cécile Cervellon, Revolutionary Nostalgia: Neo-Burlesque, Retromania and Social Change.

Asya Draganova, Popular Music in Contemporary Bulgaria: At the Crossroads.

Eleanor Peters, The Use and Abuse of Music: Criminal Records.

Title Page

Digital Nomads Living on the Margins: Remote-Working Laptop Entrepreneurs in the Gig Economy


Beverly Yuen Thompson

Siena College, USA

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

Copyright Page

Emerald Publishing Limited

Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley BD16 1WA, UK

First edition 2021

© 2021 Beverly Yuen Thompson. Published under exclusive licence by Emerald Publishing Limited.

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No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without either the prior written permission of the publisher or a licence permitting restricted copying issued in the UK by The Copyright Licensing Agency and in the USA by The Copyright Clearance Center. Any opinions expressed in the chapters are those of the authors. Whilst Emerald makes every effort to ensure the quality and accuracy of its content, Emerald makes no representation implied or otherwise, as to the chapters’ suitability and application and disclaims any warranties, express or implied, to their use.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

ISBN: 978-1-80071-546-2 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-80071-545-5 (Online)

ISBN: 978-1-80071-547-9 (Epub)

Dedication Page

Dedicated to Margaret Kwei-On Yuen and Robert G. Thompson.

Dedicated to all struggling workers in the gig economy.


About the Author ix
Introduction: The Digital Nomad 1
Chapter 1 Digital Nomads, Liquid Modernity, and the COVID-19 Pandemic 13
Chapter 2 Western Millennials: Demographics and Socioeconomic Status 23
Chapter 3 Digital Nomads: Outcasts of the Global Bazaar Economy 33
Chapter 4 Bright Sided: Positive Psychology and Its Adaptation to Digital Nomadism 45
Chapter 5 Laptops, Sunscreen, Surfboards, and Selfies: Travel, Tourism, and Leisure Practices of the Digital Nomads 59
Chapter 6 Seeking Same: Digital Nomads Seek Community 81
Chapter 7 Marginalized Identities, Social Justice, and Volun-tourism 91
Chapter 8 Digital Nomads as Canaries in the Coalmine: Disruption and the Future of Work and Leisure 101
Conclusion 119
References 123
Index 139

About the Author

Beverly Yuen Thompson is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Siena College, Loudonville, New York. She is the author of Covered in Ink: Tattoos, Women and the Politics of the Body (2015, NYU Press), an ethnography of heavily tattooed women and female tattoo artists in the United States. She has published on the topic of gender and marginalized subcultures.