Cheryll Ruth R. Soriano

Cheryll Ruth Soriano photo

Principal Investigator

Cheryll Ruth R. Soriano is the Principal Investigator for Fairwork Philippines. Cheryll is a Professor of the Department of Communication at De La Salle University in Manila.

Cheryll’s research focuses on the implications of digital media on social and organizational practices and formations. In particular, she examines emerging forms of labor organization and communicative relationships in the platform economy, worker conditions, class relations, solidaristic formations, and the underlying institutional structures shaping them. She co-led a project, “Between global aspirations and local realities: Digital labor in Philippine regional cities,” a project funded by De La Salle University (2019 to mid 2020) and led an ethnography on “Digital labor in the Global South: Deep stories and deep structures from online Filipino freelance workers’ lenses”, a research stream under the Newton/British-Council Institutional Links project between De La Salle University and the University of Leicester, which ran from 2017 until 2019.

Cheryll has published/co-published studies examining the institutional and historical conditions underlying digital platform labor in the Philippines and worker imaginaries, as well as the key experiences central to the lives of platform workers. These include experienced tensions between opportunity and precarity, as well as emerging forms of solidarity among workers on social media; the differential conditions and asymmetries among local platform workers and the rise of influencers or ‘skill-makers’ who perform a crucial role in driving the popularity of platform labor and in stimulating spaces for solidarity among workers, as well as the materiality of platform work and the function of co-working spaces for Filipino platform workers. You can find more details of her publications here.

For the Fairwork project, she is set to expand her research to examine, using the Fairwork principles, the design and labor arrangements facilitated by emerging local labor platforms in the Philippines. More broadly, she will examine how digital labor is becoming embedded within the larger technological, cultural, and social experience of Filipino workers and their communities, interrogating the interrelationships across the multiple layers of social and economic exchanges at the global and local levels and between formal and informal networks and markets.