Opening closed doors: exploring the experiences and practices of home-swapping

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

Abstract

Collaborative practices have been acknowledged as an emerging feature of contemporary culture. Both academic researchers and the popular media have taken note of the increased tendency to share, driven by 'critical mass, idling researchers and the popular media have taken note of the increased tendency to share, driven by 'critical mass, idling capacity, belief in the commons and trust between strangers' (Botsman and Rogers:2010, p. x). One such instance of sharing that is witnessing widespread appeal is the practice of home swapping which is the 'bilateral, unserviced and asymmetric exchange of accommodation, based on high levels of trust, domesticity and authentic local experiences' (Andriotis & Agiomirgianakis 2013, p.12). Our paper explores this phenomenon by drawing on multiple qualitative methods enabling new insights which are sensitive to multivocality and conscious of difference within the consumer experience (Kinchloe:2001). It includes interviews with representatives from 4 case-study home swapping organisations in the UK and USA; archival analysis of textual and visual data from the online platforms of our case organisations since online technologies are integral to the contemporary home swapping experience; and depth interviews with 16 home swappers, both experienced and novice. The symbolic properties of the home have been a prominent theme within sociology and opening up closed doors to share one's home with strangers is especially theoretically significant. We explore how home swapping becomes routinized; what practices are part and parcel of home swapping; how trust and responsiveness are forged in space and time through such interactions; and finally, what forms of identity work and labour are entangled in home swapping.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventBritish Sociological Association Conference 2016 - Aston University, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 6 Apr 20168 Apr 2016

Conference

ConferenceBritish Sociological Association Conference 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityBirmingham
Period6/04/168/04/16

Keywords

  • asymmetric exchange of accommodation
  • house swaps

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    Tonner, A., Hamilton, K., & Hewer, P. (2016). Opening closed doors: exploring the experiences and practices of home-swapping. Abstract from British Sociological Association Conference 2016, Birmingham, United Kingdom.