Media library

Abstract: In recent years what is termed “the sharing economy” has grown, i.e. sharing and swapping of tools, clothes, spaces and services. Sharing practices are indeed not new but have been reinvented in contemporary contexts characterized by economic decline and/or environmental concerns, often facilitated through the use of digital technologies. This paper deals with the rationales of peer-to-peer sharing in the form of clothing libraries and makerspaces, exploring questions as why these platforms have been initiated, what needs or desires they meet, who participates and how the sharing and co-production of common pool resources effect identity formation. The paper argues that the sharing practices embody different rationales, some primarily framed in environmental terms forwarding eco-friendly lifestyles and others framed as critiques of corporate/state control of production and societal organization. The paper however suggests that the environmentalist critique and the hacker critique of corporate control are coming together in what may be called a do-it-together maker culture with subjectivities characterized by collaboration, sharing, co-production and co-managing of resources.