Understanding Practices and Motivations for Sharing Physical Resources through Digital Services (SHA21.B)

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    Type: Master
    Status: Draft

    Today, vast amounts of user-generated and user-mediated content populates social networks. Current research has focused extensively on needs, practices, and concerns surrounding the sharing of photos and videos, textual information (e.g., status updates), and documents. However, in recent years, the scope of what is “shareable” has greatly increased, comprising not only audio-visual content but also preferences and tastes (e.g., playlists, food), physiological data (e.g., workouts), trips, and even information about and access to real-world artifacts (e.g., “couchsurfing”). A recent market trend is to share personal physical possessions, initially rooms and apartments (e.g., Airbnb), but more recently rides (Uber), cars (Getaround) and household items (Snapgoods). The goal of this project is to design, conduct and subsequently analyze an online survey that attempts to elicit current practices of usage of selected sharing economy services, as well as identify motivations to participate in such services. Additionally, the student should conduct contextual interviews involving different stakeholders of such service (e.g. users, non-users, owners, suppliers) to further understand the economic role of using such sharing-economy services. This projects requires strong analytical skills and a willingness to learn about a novel and emerging research field. Experience with performing survey research and/or interviews a plus.

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