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.
Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi
Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi
Fleura Bardhi, Giana M. Eckhardt and Emma Samsioe
We advance the notion of liquid luxury, characterized by being access-based (rather than owned), accessible (rather than exclusive), novel (rather than timelessness), and encoded in an inconspicuous style of consumption. It is anchored in the social transformations associated with the services, experiences, and the digital economy, where knowledge, speed, and openness/flexibility are highly valued. Liquid luxury challenges current notions of traditional luxury, and luxury brands face a challenge to reconcile their practices with contemporary consumer values. We further propose that liquid luxury is embraced especially by young, millennial consumers, the aspirational class, and the technology subculture. At the same time, some of the old solid and slow forms of luxury may become even more valued as the ultimate form of status because of their exclusivity or countering values of liquidity. Our ideas are designed to inspire future research and a debate about changing forms of luxury.