Challenges to Participation in “the Sharing Economy”
The so-called sharing economy is an emerging phenomenon that encompasses the use of networked tools to enable a range of social and economic exchanges, such as hospitality exchange, ridesharing, and recycling of goods. Moreover, the sharing economy reconfigures social life in urban settings. It affects not only those who take part but also those who are excluded or do not wish to participate. Based on a series of empirical studies of non-monetary and monetary forms of peer-to-peer exchange, this talk addresses challenges that may hinder participation in network hospitality (via Airbnb and Couchsurfing) and local online exchange (via Sharetribe) — even when the potential benefits are considered desirable or even necessary. The talk highlights issues as diverse as fear of indebtedness, tendency to socialize with those similar to oneself, and the perhaps counterintuitive role that monetary transactions can play by reducing uncertainty for participants.
Airi Lampinen is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Mobile Life Centre, Stockholm University in Sweden. Her research focuses on interpersonal boundary regulation in social network services and the so-called sharing economy. Lampinen received her PhD in social psychology from University of Helsinki in early 2014. Additionally, she holds a BSc (Eng.) from Aalto University’s interdisciplinary Information Networks degree programme. Previously, she has worked as a researcher at Helsinki Institute for Information Technology HIIT, as visiting scholar at UC Berkeley, and as a research intern at Microsoft Research New England. For further information and a list of publications, see airilampinen.fi