ALPSS Seminar Series - “I’m a superhost!”: Unpacking Airbnb’s biopolitical modulation of the discourse of entrepreneurialism.
|Date||Wednesday 27 October 2021|
|Time||2pm - 3pm|
|Presenter||Dr Stella Pennell|
“I’m a superhost!”: Unpacking Airbnb’s biopolitical modulation of the discourse of entrepreneurialism.
Presented by: Dr Stella Pennell, Massey University
Airbnb, a seemingly benign homestay accommodation provider, is emblematic of a disruptive digitally driven business model commonly known as ‘the sharing economy’. Airbnb, like many platform capitalist organizations, has exploited conditions of growing precarity since the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Conditions of precarity are particularly evident in regional tourist areas of Aotearoa New Zealand, historically experienced as seasonal, part-time work and low wages. In order to attract hosts, Airbnb draws specifically on the rhetoric of micro-entrepreneurism, with a focus on individual choice and financial freedom. This presentation challenges the notions of entrepreneurialism through Airbnb and examines how notions of freedom, home and hospitality are reconceptualized under a specific regime of digital biopolitics in order to form and deform behaviours of hosts to suit the logics of capitalist accumulation of Airbnb.