The cultural underpinnings of platformization: how social movement organizations helped form the category of the sharing economy
This paper explores the cultural dynamics underpinning platformization by unpacking the emergence of the sharing economy—a vital terrain of platformization—as a culturally significant category. Drawing on online archival data, our study reveals the important role of social movement organizations (SMOs) in establishing the sharing economy as a prominent cultural category and infusing it with powerful social meanings. We outline the discursive strategies used by SMOs to articulate this macro-market category, and to frame platform technology as a benevolent enabler of social change. Our study contributes to platformization research by turning attention to how cultural dynamics (i.e., the discursive strategies giving rise to the emergence of sharing economy) shape platformization. In addition, we contribute to market system dynamic research by expanding the focus of investigation from singular industries to the macro economy level, shedding light on new discursive dynamics (e.g., discursive strategies for articulating and technologizing the emergent economy), and by the extending previous work on the role of SMOs and social movements in market shaping.
- Accepted version
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