Chapter 1: Introduction to the Handbook of the Sharing Economy: the paradox of the sharing economy
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As the sharing economy is coming of age, this chapter explores its paradoxical nature. The authors outline the social and economic logics that can exist within various sharing economy platforms, and the struggle that can exist between them. They highlight how chapters in this Handbook demonstrate that failure to incorporate balance between the two logics, and thus to manage their hybrid and paradoxical nature, can lead to failure of platforms. The authors summarize how the Handbook chapters illuminate the diversity of exchange practices, such as online bartering and swapping, crowdfunding, time banking, and block chain, as well as work practices, such as coworking and cohoming. The chapters also explore how reputation, trust, and surveillance are engendered within the platforms and communities of sharing. Importantly, the authors summarize how researching the sharing economy in non-Western markets leads to novel insights. Finally, they summarize how the Handbook provides necessary critical perspectives to contemporary commercial sharing.