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The Impact of Technology-Mediated Consumption on Identity: The case of Airbnb

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Title:The Impact of Technology-Mediated Consumption on Identity: The case of Airbnb
Authors:Festila, Maria
Müller, Sune
Date Issued:04 Jan 2017
Abstract:The affordances introduced by digital technologies are reshaping consumption practices. Individuals are now engaging in networks rather than markets, and ownership-based consumption is giving way to the previously unattractive access-based, collaborative consumption. Such consumption practices produce different relationships between objects and personal identity, on which there is limited research. By means of an ethnographic study, we analyze the nature of consumer-object relationships in the context of Airbnb – a technology-mediated consumption model based on accessing private possessions. Our findings suggest that the consumption experience is meaningful and self-enriching if consumers identify with the accessed consumption object. However, identification is compromised when there is a perceived mismatch, diminishing the consumption experience. Nevertheless, access-based consumption is sometimes a reflexive strategy used to signal anti-consumption ideologies. We thus propose that technology-mediated, access-based consumption is challenging the normative power of ownership in the construction of identity, changing the symbolic repertoire of the contemporary consumer.
Pages/Duration:10 pages
Rights:Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections: Access (or Sharing) Economy Minitrack

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