The paper aims to explore young people’s perception, motivations and actual practices of sharing economy. Sharing and collaborative consumption are both growing in popularity leading to a shift of focus from good ownership to simple usage. Compared to more traditional sharing practices, the current one allows goods and services to be exchanged among strangers rather than among relatives and communities (Schor, Fitzmaurice 2015), thus the issues of trust and reputation become paramount. Some researchers have highlighted that especially young people are involved in sharing economy practices, e.g., they prefer sharing a car (carpooling or care sharing) than owning it (Belk 2014a). Since young people are both the most Internet savvy and the most prone to use smartphone apps, they are also comfortable in using services that are accessible through these devices (e.g., Car2go, Airbnb, Zipcar). In Italy, according to recent data (2018), Millennials are the main users of sharing economy services. Young people, from 18 to 34 years, have developed a culture of sharing and access to goods and services more than a culture of possession. Moreover, due to the economic crisis and many social changes, they have become more attentive to saving and more convenience oriented. For this reason, services such home or car sharing find less resistance and spread more easily among young people. Technologies and digital media enable to find ways to share resources, to connect people, to share objects, or to access sharing platforms. A deeper understanding of perception, motivations, and actual practices of sharing economy services should highlight future trends in collaborative consumption. Following a first quantitative study, the paper presents the results of four focus groups on the theme of the sharing economy inquiring perception, motivations and actual practices. The focus groups involved 36 university students attending a master’s degree course at IULM University of Milan. Informants, of both genders, are coming from North and South Italy. Despite some confusion between sharing economy services and delivery services, informants demonstrate a quite wide knowledge of sharing economy platforms. Trust is the issue preventing them to experience more fully the potential of sharing services. Convenience, connecting with new people, and making new experiences emerge as the leading motivations in engaging with these practices.

Sharing Economy and Young People. A Qualitative Explorative Project

G. Roberti
2019

Abstract

The paper aims to explore young people’s perception, motivations and actual practices of sharing economy. Sharing and collaborative consumption are both growing in popularity leading to a shift of focus from good ownership to simple usage. Compared to more traditional sharing practices, the current one allows goods and services to be exchanged among strangers rather than among relatives and communities (Schor, Fitzmaurice 2015), thus the issues of trust and reputation become paramount. Some researchers have highlighted that especially young people are involved in sharing economy practices, e.g., they prefer sharing a car (carpooling or care sharing) than owning it (Belk 2014a). Since young people are both the most Internet savvy and the most prone to use smartphone apps, they are also comfortable in using services that are accessible through these devices (e.g., Car2go, Airbnb, Zipcar). In Italy, according to recent data (2018), Millennials are the main users of sharing economy services. Young people, from 18 to 34 years, have developed a culture of sharing and access to goods and services more than a culture of possession. Moreover, due to the economic crisis and many social changes, they have become more attentive to saving and more convenience oriented. For this reason, services such home or car sharing find less resistance and spread more easily among young people. Technologies and digital media enable to find ways to share resources, to connect people, to share objects, or to access sharing platforms. A deeper understanding of perception, motivations, and actual practices of sharing economy services should highlight future trends in collaborative consumption. Following a first quantitative study, the paper presents the results of four focus groups on the theme of the sharing economy inquiring perception, motivations and actual practices. The focus groups involved 36 university students attending a master’s degree course at IULM University of Milan. Informants, of both genders, are coming from North and South Italy. Despite some confusion between sharing economy services and delivery services, informants demonstrate a quite wide knowledge of sharing economy platforms. Trust is the issue preventing them to experience more fully the potential of sharing services. Convenience, connecting with new people, and making new experiences emerge as the leading motivations in engaging with these practices.
978-84-9082-678-2
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/134516
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