Felix Nickel


Research Assistant

Goethe-University Frankfurt Main
Faculty for Social Sciences
Institute of Sociology
PEG-building  Campus Westend
Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6 / PF 14
60323 Frankfurt Main

Room 3.G 097
TTel: +49 (0)69 798-36656

DFG-Project Digital alienation and appropriation of work



Felix Nickel is a research associate at the Institute of Sociology, research unit "Sociology of Work" of Goethe-University Frankfurt (Main). He has been working with us since October 2019 and is part of the DFG-project "Digital Alienation and appropriation of work: Experiences of alienation in digital service work".

Felix obtained his B.A. in Political Science from Freie Universität Berlin and is a graduate of the international Master program "Global Political Economy" at Universität Kassel. In his master thesis he investigated Serbian online worker’s navigation between Autonomy and Control with a focus on Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) workers. Starting from (post)operaist Immaterial Labour thesis and the Labour Process Debate he looked into coping strategies and resistance of these precarious workers.

Besides his studies Felix was active as a labour and union activist in the global garment industry and health sector. He also worked as a tutor for the Global Labour University and the department of Political Theory at Universität Kassel.

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Research areas

  • Sociology of Work
  • (Global) Labour Studies
  • Digital Labour
  • Theories of (Digital) Capitalism
  • Labour Process Theory
  • Trade Unions and Labour Struggles

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SoSe 2017 - Digital Capitalism, Labour and Resistance (with Markus Rhein, Universität Kassel).

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Nickel, Felix (2017). Book Review: Erik Olin Wright – Understanding Class. In: Global Labour Journal, 8(2), S. 162-164 (peer-reviewed).

Ebenau, Matthias and Felix Nickel (2016). Gewerkschaftliche Krise und Erneuerung: Labour Revitalisation Studies als globale Konversation. In: PERIPHERIE, 36(2) (Nr. 142-143), S. 158-181 (peer-reviewed).

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Conference Contributions

Text production for the marketing machine: Autonomy and Control in the work-lifes of Serbien Search-Engine Optimizers (in German). Presentation for the workshop of the Working Group "Labour Struggles" of the "Association for Critical Social Research (AkG)", as part of the AkG Conference 2020, March 6, 2020, University of Kassel (Germany). 

Precarity behind Google’s Search Results: Serbian Search-Engine Optimizers Navigating Autonomy and Control in their Work-Life. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the Institute for Social Movement Studies (IPB): "Hashtags, Tweets, Protest: Social Movements in the Digital Age". November 15, 2019 at Weizenbaum-Institute for the Networked Society, Berlin.