‘Gentrification? I’m Absolutely Pro!’ Homeownership, Middle Class Attitudes and Short-Term Rentals.

Friday, 20 July 2018: 09:30
Oral Presentation
Giovanni SEMI, Università di Torino, Italy
Marta TONETTA, University of Turin, University of Milan La Statale, Italy, Italy
Platform economy is rapidly changing the shape of the urban fabric and its emergence parallel to the last financial crisis shed a light on the relationship between capitalism and urban transformations. In order to grasp the nexus between gentrification and platform economy, we look at the motives of the supporters of such transformations, namely the ‘shrenters’ via AirBnb and similar platforms. Investigating the life histories of urban households renting out their properties, we are able to detect some of the strategies that enable middle classes to: use rent as income, maintain a stable class identity in time of relative deprivation, foster further urban inequalities via the ideology of sharing. The data we rely on are qualitative and based on a ongoing fieldwork in Italian cities on lower middle classes started in 2017. A special place will be accorded to homeownership as both an ideology and a class tool that made possible the political construction of Italian middle classes and their pro-gentrification attitude.