Surfing The Gift Economy

Surfing The Gift Economy
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The popular travel community from Couchsurfing highlights the resurgence of an culture of sharing.

Michael Brooks
  • 23 august 2010

Want to travel the world sleeping on couches? The increasingly popular website Couchsurfing helps you do just that.

What could explain the success of a community that depends so much on good will, trust, and openness? Journalist David Bollier sees couch surfing as an expression of a “gift economy.” In gift economies, goods are freely given without promises of anything in return.  Couch surfers don’t simply get a cheaper place to stay in a foreign city, they get a community as well. While there are no formal agreements, often times hosts will take the visitors on city tours, out to parties, or meet for coffee.

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