When Sharing isn’t Sharing Anymore aka A critical view on the sharing economy

This paper starts with an explanation about what the sharing economy is defined as. The sharing economy has been there for a while but recently become more spread because of the internet. We trust people more than companies, however the intermediaries such as Airbnb, who actually facilitate transparency, infrastructureand regulation are capitalizing the share economy. Then the paper discusses more critical issues regarding the sharing economy - which was from an original utopian point of view meant as social commerce, rather than monetary incentives. Making it question whether the sharing economy is really as romantically as it is mentioned sometimes. All services are being commercialized while some should maybe not be shared or should remain non-commercialized. The sharing economy may even lead to exploitation on some ends. The paper is concluded with critical and philosophical questions for future thinking. 

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Sharing Your Home with Strangers - Collaborative Consumption with Airbnb

How come I, along with thousands of others, suddenly have the urge of living in strangers’ homes while travelling? I am a person who gladly avoids taking unnecessary risks and the bare thought of doing something ‘bad’ makes me quite anxious. Despite all of this, I have put my money and trust into people I have never met, multiple times, in the hope of getting to experience a good living accommodation during my travels. 

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PART 2: COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION: WILL CAR SHARING REPLACE CAR OWNERSHIP?

In the first part we had a deeper look at the different concepts associated with the buzzword sharing. In addition, we analyzed how it can be distinguished from collaborative and access-based consumption, which are more accurate in order to describe the concept of car sharing. Furthermore, we came up with a definition of car sharing and we explained which circumstances have caused the rise of this phenomenon. One of the last points was that collaborative consumption is perceived as an alternative to ownership and Belk (2014) even suggests that we are entering post-ownership economy and that self-identity is influenced by what you can access instead of what you own. 

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COLLABORATIVE CONSUMPTION: WILL CAR SHARING REPLACE CAR OWNERSHIP?

Did you know that an average car in North America and Western Europe is in use only 8% of the time (Gansky 2011)? That means that more than 90% of the time the existing resources of these cars are wasted while other people don´t have the economic power to purchase an own car. A solution for this problem of missing reallocation of resources is collaborative consumption in form of car sharing. For more than one decade the concept of car sharing has gained huge popularity and owes its convenience to the internet and web 2.0 (Belk 2014). This and other contemporary phenomena have changed the consumer and their consumption behavior: The number of car sharing members worldwide is increasing while simultaneously car ownership among young people is decreasing and losing its popularity (Bardhi & Eckhardt 2012; Gansky 2011). 

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