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‘I share therefore I am’: Web 2.0 and the rise of ‘sharing’

Date & Time:
13:30:00 - 15:00:00,
Thursday 6 December, 2012


It is often said that ours is a culture of sharing. To be sure, sharing is the constitutive activity of Web 2.0 and, in this context, refers to practices that are (1) digital by nature, and (2) challenge prevalent perceptions of the proper boundary between the public and the private. But this is not the only sphere of social and communicative action for which sharing is the constitutive activity. I would like to suggest a framework that takes into account two more spheres of sharing: ‘sharing economies’, both of production and consumption; and intimate interpersonal relationships, where the therapeutic ethos includes a cultural requirement that we share our emotions. Sharing is thus conceptualized as a structural metaphor that enacts values such as equality, mutuality, honesty, openness, empathy, and an ethic of care. Crucially, though, many of these practices of sharing (or should that be ‘sharing’?) take place within the context of commercial enterprises, raising questions of a critical nature.

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  • Name: Nicholas John
  • Affiliation: Visiting Fellow, LSE
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