Publication: Airbnb and cultural capitalism

Publication: April 2017

Airbnb and cultural capitalism: enclosure and control within the sharing economy

Michael O’ Regan & Jaeyeon Choe


Collectively termed the “Sharing Economy”, collaborative platforms are said to be challenging and redesigning traditional business models and ridding the tourism industry of monopolies and resource inefficiencies as they efficiently allocate assets and human resources. This paper explores the global “disruptive” brand Airbnb by utilizing the concept of cultural capitalism to ask questions as to how disruptive and innovative this platform is. We conclude that research about Airbnb and the sharing economy needs to overcome ahistorical, static, and narrow perspectives to integrate critical theories using diverse intellectual approaches to more fully explore platform’s that seek enclosure and control so as to allow market capitalism to function more expediently.

Keywords: Sharing economycultural capitalismAirbnbreputational capitalcommodification

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