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Sharing Economies: Insights from Academic Research about Peer-to-Peer Exchange and Gig Work


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Talk given at Södertörns högskolan on April 24, 2017

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Sharing Economies: Insights from Academic Research about Peer-to-Peer Exchange and Gig Work

  1. 1. S H A R I N G E C O N O M I E S I N S I G H T S F R O M A C A D E M I C R E S E A R C H A B O U T P E E R - T O - P E E R E X C H A N G E A N D G I G W O R K Airi Lampinen
  2. 2. 1. A (very) short introduction 2. Economic and social encounters 3. Beyond the individual 4. Reciprocity and indebtedness 5. Exclusion and discrimination T H I S L E C T U R E
  3. 3. 1 “ T H E S H A R I N G E C O N O M Y ”
  4. 4. Access > Ownership
  5. 5. Unused Value = Waste
  6. 6. • The 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, shared mobility, and recycling/co-use of goods. • The term is not very helpful analytically – it means different things for different people, even when it comes to specific platforms. • Collaborative consumption? Collaborative economy? Exchange platforms? Peer-to-peer exchange? “ T H E S H A R I N G E C O N O M Y ” ?
  7. 7. • An increasingly dominant concept for describing and understanding the social web (in HCI 
 but also in communication and media studies) • A term used to highlight how systems do not arrange or automate the activities themselves, but rather create multi-sided markets that facilitate exchange and allow for new configurations of work P L AT F O R M S
  8. 8. • A shift from technical to socio-technical focus: [P]latforms are platforms not necessarily because they allow code to be written or run, but because they afford an opportunity to communicate, interact, or sell (Gillespie, 2010) • Critical perspectives: Rather than mediating and brokering exchange in a passively enabling manner, these socio-technical systems spell out and propose through their affordances, more or less forcefully, particular sets of relations among different actors (Ilten, 2015) P L AT F O R M S
  9. 9. 2 S O C I A L A N D E C O N O M I C E N C O U N T E R S
  10. 10. • Money as an initial motivation • Valued social interaction with guests • Gratification of being a good host • Ancillary benefits of hosting M O N E TA RY A N D I N T E R P E R S O N A L M O T I VAT I O N S N E E D N O T B E C O N T R A D I C T O RY (Lampinen & Cheshire, 2016)
  11. 11. • Financial transactions need not be a break from the ideals of ‘sharing’ • Monetary exchange can act as a gateway to further social exchange and interpersonal interaction • The presence of money can facilitate managing expectations and provide flexibility M O N E Y I S I M P O R TA N T 
 ( B U T N O T T H E O N LY M O T I VAT I O N ) (Lampinen & Cheshire, 2016)
  12. 12. • Facilitate the core peer-to-peer transactions 
 (e.g. managing payments; ‘paymentless payment’) • Reduce uncertainties (e.g. help resolve conflicts) • (Financial) assurance structures can encourage decisions to try out participation W H AT K I N D O F S U P P O R T D O U S E R S 
 VA L U E F R O M M A R K E T P L A C E S ? (Lampinen & Cheshire, 2016)
  13. 13. • With Uber, the app not only manages the allocation of work – it affects drivers’ livelihoods, jobs and employment • Challenge for HCI: Designing for labour and working with the ecology surrounding these new markets • Algorithmically managed gig work G I G W O R K A N D L A B O U R (Glöss, McGregor & Brown, 2016;
 Raval & Dourish, 2016; 
 Rosenblat & Stark, 2016)
  14. 14. H O W C O M M O N I S I T 
 F O R T H O S E I N V O LV E D 
 B O T H S I D E S O F T H E M A R K E T ?
  15. 15. 3 B E Y O N D T H E I N D I V I D U A L
  16. 16. New marketplaces affect not only those who 
 choose to participate but also • those who are excluded • those who do not wish to participate • those who get pulled into exchange 
 processes without their own initiative C O N S I D E R T H E C O N T E X T
  17. 17. • A service where members can engage in hospitality exchange by hosting visitors or by staying with others as guests • People often live and travel with others, 
 so a focus on a host–guest dyad can be misleading S H A R I N G A S A G R O U P (Lampinen 2014; Lampinen 2016)
  18. 18. 1. Presenting multiple people in one profile 2. Coordinating and negotiating responses to CouchRequests 3. Sharing the benefits of a good reputation A C C O U N T S H A R I N G “And then you can put multiple pictures or you can describe, 
 but there’s no way to actually say we are this person, this person 
 and this person. And not all of us have a way to log in 
 and see the site unless we just share my login.” (Lampinen 2014)
  19. 19. • Indebtedness may be a bigger concern 
 than free-riding • People are often hesitant to ask for help, 
 but find it rewarding to contribute • Bartering for others as one way to reduce 
 the discomfort B A R T E R I N G F O R O T H E R S “I just said that I can keep an eye out for skates of his size and then there happened to be a pair [on offer].” (Lampinen et al, 2013)
  20. 20. 4 R E C I P R O C I T Y 
 A N D I N D E B T E D N E S S
  21. 21. L O C A L O N L I N E E X C H A N G E • Knocking on the door of an exchange partner: 
 Can I trust a stranger? How will the interaction play out? • Negotiating reciprocity • Managing fears of free-riding and indebtedness (Lampinen et al, 2015;
 Lampinen et al, 2013;
 Suhonen et al, 2010)
  22. 22. Social'exchange'is'vital'to'social' interac1on,'community,'and'solidarity' ' The$norm$of$reciprocity$ $ $ reciprocity$can$increase$solidarity$ between$exchange$partners$through$ either$symbolic$or$communica8ve$ value$over$and$above$the$instrumental$ value$of$the$benefits$provided $$ $(Molm$et$al.$$2007)$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ Sense$of$Indebtedness$ $ a$state$of$tension$having$mo5va5onal$ proper5es$such$that$the$greater$its$ magnitude,$the$greater$will$be$the$ efforts$to$reduce$it $$ $(Greenberg$and$Shapiro,$1971)$ $ $ $ $ $ $ (Lampinen et al, 2013)
  23. 23. Eagerness(To(Contribute( • Consistent)expression)of)reward)from) contribu5ng)something)of)value)to)others)in) the)community) • Receiving)an)item)or)favor)from)others)o<en) led)to)desire)to)give)something)away) Aversion(to(Indebtedness(and( Percep7ons(of(Fairness( • Common)descrip5ons)of)uncomfortable,) awkward,)unpleasant)feelings)of) indebtedness)when)receiving)something) without)giving)anything)in)return) • It)was)generally)considered)be@er)to)give%too% much)than)to)feel)indebted)to)others) )So…how)do) users)respond)to) feelings)of) indebtedness?) Primary(Themes(From(User(Descrip7ons( of(Exchange(Experiences( ( (Lampinen et al, 2013)
  24. 24. 5 E X C L U S I O N A N D D I S C R I M I N AT I O N
  25. 25. • Desire to experience “strangeness”, yet selectivity regarding which “strangers” to engage with • The tendency of individuals to associate and bond with similar others can be a source of discrimination T H E T E N D E N C Y T O P R E F E R T H O S E W H O A R E L I K E U S “I try to give a good picture of who I am in the profile because then the guest who is interested in staying at my place will likely be a kind of person whom I am interested in hosting. — And mostly the guests who end up at my place are quite similar to me.” (Ikkala & Lampinen, 2015)
  26. 26. M O T I VAT I O N I S N O T 
 A LWAY S E N O U G H “Because you’re a single parent, you tend to not have enough time. Because you don’t have enough time, it’s harder to get the resources that you would need to make being a single parent easier.” • While direct monetary investment may not be required, other issues, such as the necessity to plan ahead and commit time, may block access to participation and its benefits • In a single parents’ community, participants wanted to connect with others in similar situations. At the same time, they needed resources that others in similar circumstances were likely to lack (Lampinen, Huotari & Cheshire, 2015)
  27. 27. • For whom is it easy to take part in your marketplace? • Do those involved act on both sides of the market? • What is the role of money in inclusion/exclusion? • Rather than fend off discrimination, can you actively promote anti-discrimination? W H O C A N PA R T I C I PAT E ? H O W E A S I LY ?
  28. 28. P U B L I C AT I O N S AVA I L A B L E AT A I R I L A M P I N E N . F I