Sharing and Performance: The Case of Lisbon Hosts who Rent Rooms through the Airbnb digital platform

The Permanent Seminar on Communication and Culture Policies on “Sharing and Performance: The Case of Lisbon Hosts who Rent Rooms through the Airbnb digital platform” will be held next October 7 at 4 pm in the Institute of Social Sciences.

This seminar, conducted by Rodrigo Saturnino (CECS) aims to discuss how the Airbnb digital platform uses elements of cyberculture (community, collaboration and open access) as ethical values ​​to impact the modes of production of digital capitalism, and how the hosts they perform social role plays as a way to improve their financial gains.

From the observation of the digital platform Airbnb, it is argued that the company encourages the systematization of profiles of its hosts by providing mechanisms that allow the creation of an idealized image about the benefits of sharing between strangers. To ensure that the host image remains reliable, Airbnb maintains a complex system of identity validation procedures that is expressed through peer review and performance assessment tools to regulate users’ digital reputation. Thus, Airbnb not only promotes the reorganization of the idea of ​​hosting by capitalist logic, but also provides a scenario of everyday commodification based on the concept of sharing as the main product.

Interviews with Lisbon hosts who rent rooms in the houses in which they live revealed some of the strategies they use to preserve reputation and secure reservations, such as reorganizing social values ​​about the idea of ​​home, precariousness, privacy and trust between strangers. The qualitative analysis also provided insight into how the hosts redesign such concepts to use them as social capital to improve their home businesses.

[Posted: 04-10-2019]