Handbook of the Sharing Economy
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Handbook of the Sharing Economy

Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi

With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
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Chapter 5: The sharing economy and lifestyle movements

Mikko Laamanen and Stefan Wahlen


Current observers of the sharing economy oscillate between seeing the phenomenon as, on the one hand, a creation of a liberatory space by socially oriented and environmentally aware collectives and, on the other hand, a new form of turbocharged, rent-seeking capitalism backed by venture-capital financed platforms. The authors’ interpretation of the phenomenon follows the former view, whereby they see it as a utopian economic model that provides a means of resilience to localities, strengthening the social grid by creating reciprocal and equal relations as well as collective identification in economic activity. Consequently, in this chapter they ask how collective lifestyles and identity enable resistance practice in the sharing economy. In more specific terms, they examine sharing economy movements by building upon existing research on theories of new social movements, lifestyle movements, and their enactments within consumption. They contribute to research on consumption and the sharing economy by emphasizing the everyday as a locus for social change, and identifying and elaborating collective resistance practices that challenge neoliberalism and its causatum.

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