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Can I sleep at your place tonight?: A case study on the shared economy and practices of trust assessment.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis discusses the increased amount of information available online, and how we use it in our daily lives to make decisions. It aims to open a discussion on the complexity of accessing and evaluating digital information. As the Internet has grown, the amount of information available to the public has exploded. Not only have we gained access to what seems to be an unlimited amount of sources, but also the number of producers has grown. By means of a case study, this thesis explores practices of trust assessment within the shared economy. Through the lens of Actor-Network-Theory as well as Modern Social Imaginaries, media practices are studied by using the example of Airbnb, an online, shared economy platform for accommodation. Airbnb users as well as other travelers are asked about their media practices through an online survey with 229 respondents as well as in-depth interviews with 7 users of Airbnb. Results show that practices of trust assessment differ within and outside of the platform. There is a strong dependency on social information, produced by fellow platform users, especially in the form of reviews. In addition the study finds support for a social imaginary, in which the platform defines the accepted behavior for the users of the platform, who within the economic constraint comply with the social norm set by the organization, in order to be able to use the services of Airbnb. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 118 p.
Keyword [en]
trust assessment, shared economy, media practices, Modern Social Imaginaries, Actor-Network-Theory, Airbnb
National Category
Social Sciences Media Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-257213OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-257213DiVA: diva2:838712
Subject / course
Digital Media
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Available from: 2015-07-01 Created: 2015-07-01 Last updated: 2015-07-01Bibliographically approved

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