A Crowd of Digital Profiles: Privacy, Social Capital and Reputation in the Platform Economy

26 October 2017


Bradley Forum
Level 5, Hawke Building
City West Campus

Seminar by Associate Professor Ivana Pais

Date Thursday 26 October 2017
Time 4.00pm - 5.30pm

Bradley Forum Level 5, Hawke Building
City West Campus
55 North Terrace
Adelaide, South Australia
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The spread of companies such as Airbnb and Uber that use digital technology to organize exchanges through platforms, crowdsource ratings and reputational data has received a mixed welcome. On the one hand, there are those who see such mechanisms as a means by which to re-embed economic relations in social ones through the so-called collaborative economy. On the other, critics emphasize the new forms of exploitation possible of workers in the gig economy.

Analysis of the platform economy in operation at micro and meso levels helps to elaborate the lived realities of these macro scenarios and to outline their dynamics. Therefore in this seminar, the main findings of European research (conducted mostly in Italy) based on observations, interviews and questionnaires conducted in a number of different digital platforms (crowdfunding, time banking, ride sharing) will be presented, with a focus on the role of individual digital profiles in platform-based economic interactions. In particular, we identify a number of emerging tensions and specific sectoral relationships: self-disclosure and related consequences in terms of privacy (posting paradox); the role of social capital for online status hierarchies (status dispersion, reordering, and inequality); and reputation systems and peer-to-peer reviews as gifts, obligations or currencies in the mutual admiration society. To conclude, we will question the role of dimensional variables (scalability) and of ‘local collective competition goods’ that bind the characteristics of these global platforms at hyper-local level.

Presented by the Hawke EU Centre for Mobilities, Migrations and Cultural Transformations and the School of Communication, International Studies and Languages at the University of South Australia.

Ivana Pais photoPresenters

Ivana Pais is Associate Professor of Economic Sociology at the Faculty of Economics, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. Her research interest focuses on social networks in labour markets, organizations and entrepreneurship. In particular, she investigates new ways of working through social media: crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, coworking, sharing, bartering and making. Her publications, courses and masters dealt with digital economy and P2P platforms’ evolution. Her recent publications include: Ivana Pais and Giancarlo Provasi. "Sharing Economy: A Step towards the Re-Embeddedness of the Economy?." Stato e mercato 3 (2015): 347-378 and Del Moral Espín L., Pais I. (2015), Collaborative Economy and the Digitalization of Timebanking: Opportunities and Challenges, in Studi di Sociologia, n. 1, pp. 3-21.


For registration please contact CILResearch@unisa.edu.au by 19 October


Stephanie Krawczyk
Senior Academic Services Officer (Research)
School of Communication, International Studies and Languages
Phone: 8302 4647 Email: CILResearch@unisa.edu.au

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