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The Sociality of Sharing

Wednesday 23 September 2015

University of Warwick

The ‘sharing economy’ has become a popular term to describe the transformations in sociality under way in the information economy. But what are the practices of sharing that are invoked here? We suggest that they emerge at the intersection of two sets of processes: on the hand, the socialization of the economy, and on the other, the subsuming of social relations by an economic logic. Seen in relation to both these tendencies, the sharing economy refers to such diverse phenomena as new forms of ‘collaborative’ production and consumption, the solidarity of co-workers, the publicity oriented ‘sharing' that marks reputation-seeking social media users, and the emerging pirate economy of fast and cheap improvisations in the global technological commons that supplies the popular classes in the global South with access to cell phones, computers and other informational products.

In this workshop we would like to investigate these and other examples of the sociality of sharing to ask: what sort of social relations are created in a sharing economy where the boundaries between the economy and everyday life are disappearing? How does the sharing economy relate to wider transformations of sociality in contemporary culture and in particular to the obligations and opportunities to participate offered by digital culture? And can we connect today’s theories of sharing and the collaborative economy with the traditions of mainstream social theory?

 Provisional Programme
10.30 – 11.00 Registration and Refreshments
11.00 – 11.20 Welcome (Celia Lury, Warwick) and Introduction (Nate Tkacz, Warwick)
11.20 - 12.30 Chair: Celia Lury

Facebook and Finance. On the social logic of the derivative.
Adam Arvidsson (Milano)

Qualities of Sharing and their Transformations in the Digital Age.
Andreas Wittel (Nottingham Trent)

12.30 – 1.30 Lunch

1.30 – 3.15

Chair: Adam Arvidsson

Micro-entrepreneurs of Ourselves: The Resistible Rise of Post-Welfare Capitalism and the Sharing Economy.
Gary Hall (Coventry)

Cooperative competition: A study of the sociality of social entrepreneurs.
Carolina Bandineli (Goldsmiths) & Alessandro Gandini (Middlesex)

Organizing relations: an ethnographic inquiry into the collaborative practices and values of the art workers’ movement in Milan.
Alberto Cossu (Milano)

3.15 – 3.45 Refreshments
3.45 – 5.30 Chair: Nate Tkacz

Private-collective creativity: value generation from shared public domain inputs.
Kris Erickson (Glasgow)

Crowdfunding the commons
Renée Ridgway (CBS / Leuphana University (DCRL))

Are platform cooperatives a threat to the "sharing economy"?
Trebor Scholz (New School)

5.30 – 6.00

Chair: Adam Arvidsson

Response to the day: Celia Lury (Warwick)

6.00 Closing Remarks and End