Die Rede von der Sharing Economy

Author(s): Sützl, Wolfgang


With the digital media, new forms of the circulation of goods have been established on the basis of social networks, summarily addressed under the term ‘sharing economy.’ The enforcement of these online transactions is accompanied by a euphoric discourse, ascribing to the sharing economy utopian potentials to commonly generate added value. Wolfgang Sützl’s contribution emphasizes that the rhetorical effect of sharing and its idealization distract from exchange as basic economic form. With reference to theories of gift exchange, he shows how sharing (by denying the expectation of equivalence) reaches its limits by being confused with giving, and how it also conceals the value-creation processes of companies as well as the exploitation of resources. Tomasz Konicz also picks up on the idea that the sharing economy tends to an ‘economization of everything,’ seeing in it an ‘anomalous’ desire for alternative forms of economy in the face of the ‘crisis of capital.’ On the other hand, from a Marxist perspective, Konicz points to the ‘processing contradiction’ of technology development and its devastating implications, which also form the basis of the sharing economy. In this respect, the search for alternatives still goes on.

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Preferred Citation
Sützl, Wolfgang: Die Rede von der Sharing Economy. In: ZMK Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung, Jg. 8 (2017), Nr. 2, S. 47-54. DOI:
 author = {Sützl, Wolfgang},
 title = {Die Rede von der Sharing Economy},
 year = 2017,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 8,
 address = {Hamburg},
 journal = {ZMK Zeitschrift für Medien- und Kulturforschung},
 number = 2,
 pages = {47--54},
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