Project Information

Blurring the boundaries of work: blogging and vlogging as new forms of digital work


In the recent past, the digitalization of work has been regarded as a far-reaching shift both in public and scientific debates. Moreover, digitalization affects not only work and the economy but also impacts society as a whole. But so far, the question whether and to what extent the Internet facilitates new forms of work has only been investigated to a limited extent from a sociological perspective. Against this background, the research project aims to examine which new forms of digital work are emerging on the Internet and what characterizes them, by using the examples of bloggers and vloggers (video bloggers).

The following questions will guide the research:

Firstly, we will examine the motives of bloggers and vloggers for their actions and the expectations they have. What are the reasons for the activity as paid work? What role is played by the need to make a living, and what role do social recognition and opportunities for self-realization play?

Secondly, we focus on the employment structures and working conditions of bloggers and vloggers. What are the characteristics of blogging and vlogging as paid work? Which activities does this include in concrete terms and which requirements are associated with it?

Research design

The explorative study is based on a two-step approach.

In the first step, blog and vlog contributions are identified in which blogging and vlogging are thematized as paid work. Using text mining methods, we examine the self-portrayals of work by bloggers and vloggers. The analysis covers different thematic areas in order to capture different facets. Based on these results, 18 bloggers and vloggers are selected who represent different thematic areas and whose blog and vlog contributions will be examined in more detail by means of an online content analysis. In a second step, narrative interviews will be conducted with the selected persons in order to explore their perspectives, motivations and employment strategies and to investigate their working conditions and employment structures.


Dr. Fabian Hoose, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm, Fabian Beckmann: Zwischen Marktabhängigkeit und Marktgestaltung. Erwerbsstrategien selbstständiger Content Creator*innen auf Social Media-Plattformen. Online-Konferenz "Selbstständige Arbeit in der Gegenwartsgesellschaft". Autor*innenkonferenz zu einem Sonderband der Sozialen Welt, Hg. A. Manske, K. Mojescik, I. Stamm; AK Selbstständige Arbeit der AIS-Sektion Arbeits- und Industriesoziologie, 07.03.2024

Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm, Dr. Fabian Hoose: Social-Media-Selbstständigkeiten. Bedingungen und Herausforderungen von Content-Erstellung als Form selbstständiger Plattformarbeit. Digitalisierung selbstständiger Arbeit – 2. Plattformtagung im Haus der Selbstständigen, 14.10.2022

Dr. Fabian Hoose, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm: Digital solo self-employment in the platform economy: YouTubers and Bloggers between self-fulfillment and algorithms. 2nd Crowdworking Symposium, Universität Paderborn, 09.10.2020  Weitere Informationen

Dr. Fabian Hoose, Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm: Digitale Solo-Selbstständigkeit in der Plattformökonomie: (Video-)Bogger*innen im Spannungsverhältnis von Autonomie und Abhängigkeit. Ad Hoc Gruppe "Selbständiger Erwerb im digitalen Kapitalismus und seine Einbettung in Markt, Haushalt und Kultur", 40. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Soziologie 2020, Virtueller Kongress, 21.09.2020  Weitere Informationen

Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm, Dr. Fabian Hoose: Digitale Selbstständigkeit. Ansprüche von Blogger*innen und YouTuber*innen an Arbeit. Soziologisches Kolloquium - Sommersemester 2020, Institut für Soziologie, Universität Duisburg-Essen, 13.05.2020  Weitere Informationen

Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm, Dr. Fabian Hoose: Entgrenzte Arbeit im Netz: Bloggen und Vloggen als neue digitale Arbeitsformen. Sozialwissenschaftliches Kolloquium der Fakultät für Sozialwissenschaft, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, 15.01.2020  Weitere Informationen

Project data

Term of the project:
01.06.2019 - 31.07.2020

Reseach department:
Working-Time and Work Organisation

Project management:
Dr. Fabian Hoose,Dr. Sophie Rosenbohm

Mercator Research Center Ruhr GmbH