The Ageless Art of Sharing, a Few Historical Aspects.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:30
Oral Presentation
Cristina MIRANDA DE ALMEIDA, University of the Basque Country, Spain
Sharing, understood as a collective action, challenges the idea of private ownership. It aims at being a paradigm shift that touches all the ways we relate to the most important pillars of society: identity, goods production and distribution, food, health, education, culture, art, personal care, institutional decisions, politics and democracy, among others.

Rachel Botsman and Roo Rodgers in the Book What’s Mine Is Yours (2009) highlighted the importance of the term collaborative consumption that describes "the rapid explosion in traditional sharing, bartering, lending, trading, renting, gifting, and swapping reinvented through network technologies on a scale and in ways never possible before".

The sharing trend is becoming increasing more important in contemporary society. However, the action of sharing -that channels actions and visions about how to collaborate and pervades all human spheres from the personal to the collective-, is not new: it is transversal to human history.

What we call sharing society and economy could be understood as a redesign of previous social practices adapted to the needs of the complexity of our contemporary situation. In fact, sharing practices can be understood as an essential human feature. It is present in practices such as potlatch; reciprocal altruism (Trivers, 1971); cooperative acquisition and byproduct mutualism; tolerated theft and scrouging and costly signalling (Gintis; Bowles; Boyd; Fehr, 2005).

This paper will explore how not competition or appropriation but rather collaboration and generosity, the social action of sharing, is a transversal fundamental principle present in the social imaginary, yet to be fully manifested.