Domesticating the market: Moral exchange and the sharing economy

Connor J. Fitzmaurice, Isak Ladegaard, William Attwood-Charles, Mehmet Cansoy, Lindsey B. Carfagna, Juliet B. Schor, Robert Wengronowitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The 'sharing economy' is a contested realm, with critics arguing it represents a further development of neoliberalism, as platforms such as Airbnb and TaskRabbit, monetize previously uncommodified realms of life via renting of bedrooms, possessions, space and labor time. To date, this debate has largely ignored participants' views. Using data from 120 in-depth interviews with providers in two for-profit and three not-for-profit sites, we find that most see the sharing economy differently, as an opportunity to build a radically different market, from the bottom up. Like the detractors, they are critical of dominant market arrangements, however, they believe the sharing sector can construct personalized exchanges that are morally attuned, based on ideals of community, and that help them achieve creative and financial autonomy in their working lives. These aspirations represent an attempt to tame, or domesticate the neoliberal market.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-102
Number of pages22
JournalSocio-Economic Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • D12
  • domestic production
  • economic sociology
  • markets
  • morality
  • neoliberalism
  • O35
  • sharing economy
  • Z13

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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