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Published on November 5, 2007

Author: Elodie

Source: authorstream.com

WHY NOT SHARE RATHER THAN OWN?:  WHY NOT SHARE RATHER THAN OWN? Russell Belk University of Utah USA Consider Daily Commuting :  Consider Daily Commuting Lone drivers in private autos & SUV Air pollution, global warming Dwindling fossil fuels, global competition Increased stress triples heart attack risk Sharing alternatives (e.g., AutoShare, car pools, public transit, bike sharing) So why don’t we share? Can we share more? Alternative Forms of Distribution:  Alternative Forms of Distribution Marketplace Exchange Gift-Giving Sharing On the whole, you find wealth much more in use than in ownership (Aristotle) Commodity Exchange:  Commodity Exchange Strangers barter or purchase with money Balanced transactions incur no debt nor create/maintain social relations Simultaneous exchange ideal Establishes equivalence between objects Simmel’s society of strangers (not friends or enemies) Sahlins’ balanced or negative reciprocity Egoistic In Derrida’s & Economists’ views, the only form of human transaction Gift Exchange:  Gift Exchange In Mauss’s view, still based on reciprocity (obligations to give, receive, & reciprocate) In Gregory’s view, the opposite of commodity exchange Establishes relationships between people Ideally staggered Money taboos May involve Sahlins’ generalized reciprocity Social exchange and ritual prestation Altruism and agapic love possible, but not “ours” In Granovetter’s terms, even business transactions can be embedded in this way (also Carrier, Silver) Sharing:  Sharing A third alternative not fully considered Prototype—income pooling and resource sharing within the family; predecessor: the mother A Marxian ideal: from each according to his or her abilities and to each according to his or her needs An Internet reality? File sharing, P2P, open source, BBs, Wikipedia, free democratized information The open science/academic model since the Scientific Revolution vs. closed technology/business But even the prototype of the family may pool & share less IPR may trump biodiversity, human life, blood & organs Key Questions:  Key Questions What don’t we share more? Incentives to share intangibles? Incentives to share tangibles? Are these incentives changing? How does this change our understandings of gift and commodity exchange? Sharing: An Alternative to Private Ownership:  Sharing: An Alternative to Private Ownership Includes Voluntary lending, giving away Pooling & allocation of resources Authorized use of public property NOT contractual renting or leasing NOT Unauthorized use by theft or trespass We can share things, places, people, pets, ideas, values, time, affection, animosity Excludes non-volitional coincidence “Sharing” a common place of birth “Sharing” a language “Sharing” a set of experiences Example: Car sharing:  Example: Car sharing Car Sharing, launched in 1987 in Switzerland and later in 1988 in Germany, came to North America via Quebec City in 1993. As of December 2005 - 17 U.S. car sharing programs claimed 91,995 members sharing 1,737 vehicles, and 11 Canadian car sharing programs claimed 13,576 members sharing 672 vehicles. Toronto AutoShare 4 hours cost $33.81 membership $100+GST; deposit $250 60 locations Book online; some plans include insurance & gas Sharing Defined:  Sharing Defined The act and process of distributing what is ours to others for their use (can also share in production) The act and process of receiving something from others for our use We may share what we feel is ours so that others come to feel it is at least partly theirs to use (ours) Use may be for an indefinite or prescribed period & for our exclusive use or for use by us as well as others Givers and receivers can be individuals or groups Distribution may or may not make the access to things more equal Cultural Influences:  Cultural Influences Sharing, possession, & ownership are all culturally learned behaviors In the West, possession & ownership learned first; sharing, fairness, justice later Australian aborigines learn sharing first Vestigial affect from nomadic past Led to difficulties with private cars & land Chinese Zhanguang; Japanese hole-in-one African hospitality Culture also prescribes what is selfish vs. altruistic, generous vs. stingy, & fair vs. unfair Mixed Effects of Sharing:  Mixed Effects of Sharing Recipient can feel grateful or hostile May feel we get our fair share, more, or less Can reduce envy & foster feelings of community or create dependency & feelings of inferiority We may see sharing as a sincere effort to please or a sop Can take place within excess or insufficiency We may share broadly or narrowly Impediments to Sharing:  Impediments to Sharing Feelings of object attachment Cathecting objects as part of extended self (e.g., body organs) Materialism The importance attached to possessions Components: envy, possessiveness, non-generosity Fear of loss/damage, tragedy of the Commons Materialism accounts in 4 cultures E.g., Christmas giving From broad charitable giving To narrow giving with the family Sharing & the Museum Without Walls:  Sharing & the Museum Without Walls Fine art is Finite But it can be broadly distributed Art Museums Inexpensive copies What is the problem here? Benjamin’s loss of “aura” Denigrating reproduction, fraud, fake, forgery Status hierarchies – e.g, Visiting Luxor in Egypt vs. Las Vegas, vs. books, Internet & postcards Incentives to Share Intangibles:  Incentives to Share Intangibles Some of “our” intangibles are not legally ours – a view, classroom seat, “our” song Other intangibles may be our property – ideas, designs, & various creations (open science) Academic ideas – ours vs. plagiarized Presenting & publishing = sharing It also = the way to make them ours We should give them rather than sell them We are more apt to share with doctoral students But sharing raw data = less likely Others may admire our garden, but may not borrow our tools, seeds, & potting soil Alternate model exists (e.g., Human Genome Project) Sharing without Losing:  Sharing without Losing A song, joke, story, body, digital files Even books, journals, videos can be copied The online gift economy Linux, Napster, freeware BBSs, chat rooms, web sites Why join these virtual communities? Keeping while giving (Weiner) Cheap altruism (Coyne) Utilitarianism True hi-tech gift economy Other motivations: “Paying back,” cornucopia, & movement E.g., Reviewing Intangible Sharing Communities:  Intangible Sharing Communities Marker goods Sharing Secrets Extended Self Sports fans, music fans, brand cults Proselytizing & recruiting members Feeling of minority status, persecution, & uniqueness iPod? Case in Point: The Grateful Dead:  Case in Point: The Grateful Dead Long known for “tapers” freely trading & trading (not profiting from) concert tapes Evolved into digital downloading But in late November, 2005, GD did an about face & told Live Music Archive to stop making it available Fan uproar caused a partial reversal But GD already suggested shift From Internet as cornucopia To Internet as pay-per-play jukebox The Grateful Dead Brand:  The Grateful Dead Brand “The Dead had created an anarchy of trust, going not by statute but by instinct and turning fans into co-conspirators, spreading their music and buying tickets, T-shirts and official CD’s to show their loyalty. The new approach…changes that relationship….The change also downgrades fans into the customers they were all along. It removes…brand value from the Dead’s legacy by reducing them to one more band with products to sell” (Jon Pareles, “The Dead’s Gamble: Free Music for Sale” NYT, December 3, 2005). Incentives to Share Tangibles:  Incentives to Share Tangibles School boys/girls sharing clothing Leveraged lifestyles—e.g., AutoShare Virtual Sharing Bag, Borrow, or Steal Borrow rip CDs Share music, films on-line Greek hospitality & Odysseus Other Tangible Sharing Incentives:  Other Tangible Sharing Incentives Family heirlooms & extended self Sharing within the family Group sharing (e.g., time-share homes) Institutional sharing—e.g., Museums National Parks But, tragedy of the commons? Limited good vs. Unlimited good (e.g., shells; Bible; the commons; Halloween) Communally extended self & humanity John Donne (1623):  John Donne (1623) No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manner of thy friend’s or thine own were. Any man’s death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. [Meditation XVII] Individual Reasons to Share (Summary):  Individual Reasons to Share (Summary) Self-interest (e.g., leveraged lifestyle) Extended sense of self (e.g. brand cults) Altruism (e.g., sharing within the family) Social justice (e.g., paying back for successes in life) Unlimited good (e.g., shell on the beach) Common humanity (e.g., Donne) Social Factors in Sharing (Summary):  Social Factors in Sharing (Summary) POSITIVE Internet sharing (e.g., Napster) Limited goods (e.g., environmental resources) The greater good (e.g., open science) Rise of virtual communities online (e.g., MUG) NEGATIVE Intellectual property rights (e.g., TRIPS) Decline of sharing within the family (e.g., privatization) Decline of family (e.g., divorce rates) Decline of neighborhood community (e.g. Bowling Alone) Conclusions:  Conclusions Social desirability of sharing Why? Community, civil obedience, environment Why not? ID through things vs. people, financial security vs. social security, economic capital vs. social capital Compared to private ownership through marketplace exchange or gift-giving, sharing is more casual, less reciprocal, and potentially more altruistic Santa replaces sharing with gift-giving Luxury & surprise also make sharing gift-giving Conclusions:  Conclusions Negative social desirability of sharing: spouse, womb, soldiers, children Battle: Online sharing vs. intellectual property laws vs. public access (e.g., eBooks) Sharing through post-materialism, VS, downshifting, dematerializing, experience economy? One boom U.S. market: storage Business leads with the virtual corporation Is the virtual consumer next? “Why rent when you can buy” vs. “Why own when you can rent by the hour?” (AutoShare)

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