Year of Publication

2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Zook

Second Advisor

Dr. Matthew W. Wilson

Abstract

Since 2014, Airbnb has been the poster-child for an impassioned debate over how to best regulate short-term home rentals (STR’s) in New Orleans, Louisiana. As critical perspectives toward on-demand economic practice become increasingly common, it is important to understand how the impacts of STR platforms like Airbnb extend beyond the realm of what is traditionally conceptualized as the economic (i.e., pressure on housing markets). In this thesis, I explore the ways in which Airbnb recalibrates the spatial and temporal rhythms of everyday neighborhood life for people external to the formal trappings of an STR contract. Drawing in particular on theories of authenticity and feminist political economy, I argue that locals’ emotional labor of “playing host” is necessarily enrolled into the creation of value for Airbnb, and is essential to the reproduction of the platform’s business model and marketing rhetoric.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

https://doi.org/10.13023/etd.2018.241

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