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Crowding and Making as connective practices. Tips from a socio-economic research field in Italy

Silvia Mazzucotelli Salice; Ivana Pais. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milán

The article aims to contribute to the scientific debate on the effects of the sharing economy in redesigning forms of integration between economy and society. Specifically, the article intends to illustrate the forms generated by collaborative consumption and working practices that today, especially to the general public, fall under the umbrella-term of "sharing economy".

Through the analysis of crowdfunding platforms and spaces for digital manufacturing (also known as makers' spaces) and of their logic of action (crowding and making), the essay also aims to: a) analyse the role sharing economy can play in activating and cultivating social ties based on information management and sharing of goods and services; b) and to identify the forms of these social ties.

Empirical research, detailed in the following pages, builds on the Italian case. The research methodology is based on: a) a review of the literature related to the sharing economy; b) a mapping of existing online and offline collaborative services relevant for the Italian territory; c) a qualitative study conducted through case studies based mainly on ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews.

The culture of sharing within and beyond the gift based circulation of goods

Matteo Aria. Università di Roma - La Sapienza

The new urban-rural phenomena of ‘sharing economies' –as many nowadays call them– offer a fertile ground for anthropological and sociological analysis. Such phenomena are characterised by practices which are not based on possession and on the circulation of goods. Studying them allows us to explore the limits and ambiguities of the paradigm of gift and reach a better understanding of those dimensions, whose prevailing traits are the presence of wide-spread relational selves and of a reason for being and acting together.

The paper also intends to discuss how the notion of ‘sharing', condivisione in Italian, risks to be absorbed by the Homo oeconomicus paradigm and become the last frontier of capitalism – in a manner similar to what has occurred, in many ways, with gift. In order to identify the distinctive characteristics of sharing as something that differs from both gift and the market we should perhaps explore the family of Italian terms ranging from convivere (living together) and convivalità (conviviality), to compassione (compassion) and consenso (consensus): all terms related to the suffix "con" and defining the linguistic family of the "us". Such terms convey something which does not find an equivalent in the English word "sharing", which on the contrary lacks to reflect the essential role played by the ‘us' dimension.

Emotions at work. The social fruits of collaboration, sharing, participation.

Emanuela Mora. Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milano

The different forms of sharing practices are considered interesting as social experiments that produce new forms of social ties and solidarities. The paper will try to identify the kind of emotions that sharing practices arouse (and those on which they are based), taking for granted that the emotional arousal embedded in the interactive frameworks is a constitutive resource for building social ties and solidarities.

It will be argued that sharing practices - as contexts in which people experience a sort of selves' boundaries softening, becoming more permeable to encounter other people and design and doing things together – are connected with emotions arousing from meaningful relationships that can be described as the emotions pertaining the ‘us' dimension. It will be suggested that sharing practices can be distinguished according to the kind and intensity of emotions they are connected to.

How do Sharing Practices push innovation for Economic and Social Life?

Filippo Barbera, University of Torino and Collegio Carlo Alberto

Sharing practices (SP) are a key dimension of social innovation (SI) and they are a catch-all concept with rather unclear analytical boundaries. Both SP and SI are understood as being agents and reagents of social change, namely as a response to the crises of the arrangements that have arisen in the last third of the twentieth century". As well as a, means of societal change, the mechanisms of social innovations are increasingly seen as novel forms of governance where the established solutions of markets or bureaucracies fail (Loconto 2014).

In this paper, I will illustrate different perspectives and questions about SI and SP. What is their scholarly added value? Are they only buzz-words? Or do they offer key analytical insights to explore social change? I will argue that a distinction exists among on-demand economy, sharing and collaboration economy and I will state that what matters is not just "reciprocity" but  recognition" and "social identity". Finally, I will highlight the mechanisms explaining why SI and SP organizations and practices are often so differentiated and separated along cultural/symbolic lines.



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