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Alberto Ares S,J., Carlos Ballesteros, Laura Sierra

Sharing Economy and Vulnerable People

The objective of this paper is to demonstrate that Sharing Economy (thereinafter SC) can be a good tool for mutual support in social vulnerability, uprooting or situations of difficulty. The common framework for SC, and for one of its most well known expressions, Collaborative Consumption, is usually related with wealthy millenial's behaviour. None of the most accepted definitions of SC as e.g. Botsman (2016), Owyang (2013), Cañigueral (2014) or Belk (2013) consider it as a tool to solve situations of vulnerability or exclusion within mutual support networks. SC is a new and innovative phenomenon and does not seem to take into account manifestations of the social economy which have on the cooperative values one of its maximum pillars and which manifests itself with great force between the most disadvantaged strata of society. Social support networks are forms of relationship and a transfer system. The value and the importance of the social network can be seen from their role in the exchange of relations, but also of services and products, from which you can derive primary security (satisfaction of basic needs), shleter and opportunity for growing as a person (Méndez and Cruz, 2008). Through these exchanges mutual support networks contribute to the quality of life of the population, not only because they provide instrumental and material support that improve living conditions, but also because of the significant impact on the emotional level. Perceptions developed by persons participating in networks, with respect to the performance of significant social roles, constitute a key element in their quality of life (CELADE, 2003). Therefore Sharing Economy (and time banks, barter networks and so on) can be a very good demonstration of this relationship in a context of vulnerability and or risk of exclusion.