Framing the collaborative economy —Voices of contestation

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Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions, ISSN: 2210-4224, Vol: 23, Page: 92-104

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Katarzyna Gruszka
Elsevier BV
Energy; Environmental Science; Social Sciences
article description
Within the context of multiple crises and change, a range of practices discussed under the umbrella term of collaborative (or sharing) economy have been gaining considerable attention. Supporters build an idealistic vision of collaborative societies. Critics have been stripping the concept of its visionary potential, questioning its revolutionary nature. In the study, these debates are brought down to the local level in search for common perceptions among the co-creators of the concept in Vienna, Austria. Towards this aim a Q study is conducted, i.e. a mixed method enabling analyses of subjective perceptions on socially contested topics. Four framings are identified: Visionary Supporters, Market Optimists, Visionary Critics, and Sceptics, each bringing their values, visions, and practical goals characteristic of different understanding of the collaborative economy. The study questions the need for building a globally-applicable definition of the concept, calls for more context-sensitivity, exploratory studies, and city-level multi-stakeholder dialogues.