Why do you share? An exploratory study on attitudes towards collaborative consumption among young adults in Malmö
Sammanfattning: Collaborative consumption – i.e. sharing, renting, trading and swapping things instead of owning them – has in previous years emerged as an alternative consumption mode, assumed by many to be less resource demanding and more sustainable than current consumption patterns. It is suggested that younger adults have more positive attitudes towards collaborative consumption than older age cohorts. However, little is known about what, how and why this key consumption group in Sweden share with others. The purpose of this study is therefore to fill this gap in knowledge by exploring the subjective attitudes towards sharing among Malmö-based young adults (21 to 36 years old) with experience of collaborative consumption. In addition to what and how they share, their sharing motives, the extent to which they perceive sharing as being environmentally sustainable, as well as what they believe might stimulate and hinder the development of collaborative consumption are addressed. With data collected through 16 qualitative semi-structured interviews, the study shows a wide range of motivations to participate in collaborative consumption among the respondents. The study also finds a relatively high level of perceived environmental sustainability of collaborative consumption, believed to be catalysed by the decreasing demand on resources and behavioural changes. Increased awareness of sharing, making sharing accessible, and changes in how people live are among the perceived stimulating factors. On the other hand, lack of trust, people’s comfort, and strong norms regarding private ownership are lifted as hinders. Suggestions for further research are presented in the discussion.
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