New Consumer Practices in the Context of Civil Society Digitalization:
Theoretical and Methodological Aspects (Paper 1)


Shabanova M.A.

Dr. Sci.(Soc.), Professor, Lead Research Associate, the Center for Studies of Civil Society and the Nonprofit Sector, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia mshabanova@hse.ru

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250010204-7
ID of the Article: 8370


For citation:

Shabanova M.A. New Consumer Practices in the Context of Civil Society Digitalization: Theoretical and Methodological Aspects (Paper 1). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 11. P. 16-26




Abstract

Russian civil society (CS) has been repeatedly referred to as weak. However, this conclusion usually takes into account only the NGO sector while leaving out of consideration formally non-organized forms of civic participation. At the same time, the latter sphere has been expanding over the past few years, for the most part, owing to various kinds of civic engagement on consumer goods and resources. The Internet has served as a powerful impetus to their development. The author centers her attention on the new practices of consumer self- organization and peer-to- peer (P2P) cooperation within online communities, ranging from donating of excess food and things to strangers and/or receiving these from strangers to collaborative consumption of goods on the basis of a temporary access (P2P online renting of physical items and housing for those who travel, carpooling). These practices are conceptualized in the context of CS changing qualitative characteristics in the digital era. To this end,the theoretical and methodological section (Paper 1) discusses the phenomenon of consumer power enhancement in the digital era, its factors, barriers and risks. A hypothetical concept is proposed to elucidate the nature of juxtaposition between online technologies and offline CS as well as the ensuing enhancement of CS social and economic role owing to the development of online P2P consumer practices. Paper 2 deals with testing the hypotheses. Based on the results of the all-Russia representative survey (N = 2011, 2019), the paper for the first time presents the data on the actual and potential levels of Russians’ involvement in various types of P2P practices and evaluates the relationship between the probability of involvement in these practices, on one hand, and consumers’ prosocial characteristics and their online activity, on the other. It is shown that the development of online consumer practices cannot be solely attributed to Internet technologies. It is oftentimes a synthesis of Internet technologies development and extensive, though not always discernable, shifts in the non-digital environment: the development of CS, both formally organized and informal. However, the “social awakening” effect sparked by the Internet is also apparent and it cannot be viewed as an unlikely occurrence.


Keywords
peer-to-peer consumer practices; Internet; civil society; collaborative consumption; sharing; social solidarity; social cooperation; social innovations

References

Заславская Т.И. Социетальная трансформация российского общества: Деятельностно-структурная концепция. М.: Дело, 2002. [Zaslavskaya T.I. (2002) Societal Transformation of Russian Society. Activity-Structural Conception. Moscow: Delo. (In Russ.)]

Радаев В. Миллениалы: Как меняется российское общество. М.: ВШЭ, 2019. [Radaev V. (2019) Millennials: How the Russian Society Changes. Moscow: VShE. (In Russ.)]

Шабанова М.А. Социально ответственное потребление в России: факторы и потенциал развития рыночных и нерыночных практик // Общественные науки и современность. 2017. № 3. С. 69–86. [Shabanova M. (2017) Socially Responsible Consumption in Russia: Factors and the Development Potential of Market-oriented and Non-market Practices. Obshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost [Social Sciences and Contemporary World]. No. 3: 69–86. (In Russ.)]

Шабанова М.А. Социально-экономические практики населения как ресурс ослабления мусорной проблемы в России // Социологические исследования. 2019. № 6. С. 50–63. DOI: 10.31857/ S013216250005481-2. [Shabanova M. (2019) Citizens’ Socio-economic Practices аs а Resource to Alleviate the Waste Issue in Russia. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 6: 50–63. DOI: 10.31857/S013216250005481-2. (In Russ.)]

Шабанова М.А. Этичное потребление в России: профили, факторы, потенциал развития // Вопросы экономики. 2015. № 5. С. 78–102. [Shabanova M. (2015) Ethical Consumption in Russia: Profiles, Factors, and Perspectives. Voprosy Ekonomiki. No. 5: 78–102. (In Russ.)]

Aguiar L., Claussen J., Peukert C. (2018) Catch Me if You Can: Effectiveness and Consequences of Online Copyright Enforcement. Information Systems Research. Vol. 29. No. 3: 656–678. DOI: 10.1287/ isre.2018.0778.

Amaro S., Andreu L., Huang S. (2019) Millennials’ Intentions to Book on Airbnb. Current Issues in Tourism. Vol. 22. No. 18: 2284–2298. DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2018.1448368.

Bardhi F., Eckhardt G. (2012). Access Based Consumption: The Case of Car Sharing. Journal of Consumer Research. Vol. 39. No. 4: 881–898. DOI: 10.1086/666376.

Belk R. (2014) You Are What You Can Access: Sharing and Collaborative Consumption Online. Journal of Business Research. Vol. 67. No. 8: 1595–1600. DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.10.001.

Benkler Y. (2004) Sharing Nicely: On Shareable Goods and the Emergence of Sharing as a Modality of Economic Production. Yale Law Journal. Vol. 114. No. 2: 273–358. DOI: 10.2307/4135731.

Böcker L., Meelen T. (2017) Sharing for People, Planet or Profit? Analyzing Motivations for Intended Sharing Economy Participation. Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions. Vol. 23: 28–39. DOI: 10.1016/j.eist.2016.09.004.

Dejean S. (2009). What Can We Learn from Empirical Studies about Piracy? CESifo Economic Studies. Vol. 55. No. 2: 326–352. DOI: 10.1093/cesifo/ifp006.

Diamantopoulos A., Schlegelmilch В., Sinkovics R., Bohlen G. (2003) Can Sociodemographics Still Play a Role in Profiling Green Consumers? A Review of the Evidence and an Empirical Investigation. Journal of Business Research. Vol. 56. No. 6: 465–480. DOI: 10.1016/S0148-2963(01)00241-7.

Eastman J.K., Liu J. (2012) The Impact of Generational Cohorts on Status Consumption: An Exploratory Look at Generational Cohort and Demographics on Status Consumption. Journal of Consumer Marketing. Vol. 29. No. 2: 93–102. DOI: 10.1108/07363761211206348.

Ert E., Fleischer A., Magen N. (2016). Trust and Reputation in the Sharing Economy: The Role of Personal Photos in Airbnb. Tourism Management. Vol. 55: 62–73. DOI: 10.1016/j.tourman.2016.01.013.

Farmer R. (2011) Web Reputation Systems and the Real World. In: Masum H., Tovey M. (eds). The Reputation Society: How Online Opinions are Reshaping the Offline World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press:13–24.

Francis T., Hoefel F. (2018) ‘True Gen’: Generation Z and its Implications for Companies. Consumer Packaged Goods. November 12. URL: https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/consumer-packaged-goods/ourinsights/true-gen-generation-z-and-its-implications-for-companies (accessed 14.06.2020).

Jøsang A., Ismail R., Boyd C. (2007) A Survey of Trust and Reputation Systems for Online Service Provision. Decision Support Systems. Vol. 43. No. 2: 618–644. DOI: 10.1016/j.dss.2005.05.019.

Hamari J., Sjöklint M., Ukkonen A. (2016) The Sharing Economy: Why People Participate in Collaborative Consumption. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology. 2016. Vol. 67. No. 9: 2047–2059. DOI: 10.1002/asi.23552.

Hawlitschek F., Teubner T., Gimpel H. (2018) Consumer Motives for Peer-to-Peer Sharing. Journal of Cleaner Production. Vol. 204: 144–157. DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.08.326.

Labrecque L.I., vor dem Esche J., Mathwick С., Novak T.P., Hofacker C.F. (2013) Consumer Power: Evolution in the Digital Age. Journal of Interactive Marketing. Vol. 27. No. 4: 257–269. DOI: 10.1016/j. intmar.2013.09.002.

Laughton R. (2016) The 'Internet of Trust': How IoT will Help Grow the Sharing Economy. Fresh Business Thinking. Bits & Bytes. November. URL: https://www.freshbusinessthinking.com/the-internet-of-trusthow-iot-will-help-grow-the-sharing-economy/ (accessed 30.03.2020).

Lee K. (2009) Gender Differences in Hong Kong Adolescent Consumers' Green Purchasing Behavior. Journal of Consumer Marketing. Vol. 26. No. 2: 87–96. DOI: 10.1108/07363760910940456.

Lissitsa S., Kol O. (2016) Generation X vs. Generation Y – A Decade of Online Shopping. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Vol. 31: 304–312. DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2016.04.015.

Karlsson L., Kemperman A., Dolnicar S. (2017). May I Sleep in Your Bed? Getting Permission to Book. Annals of Tourism Research. Vol. 62: 1–12. DOI: 10.1016/j.annals.2016.10.002.

Masum H., Zhang Y.-C. (2004) Manifesto for the Reputation Society. First Monday. 2004. Vol. 9. Nо. 7. URL: https://journals.uic.edu/ojs/index.php/fm/article/view/1158/1078 (accessed 30.03.2020). DOI: 10.5210/ fm.v9i7.1158.

Mazzella F., Sundararajan A., D'Espous V.B., Möhlmann M. (2016) How Digital Trust Powers the Sharing Economy: The Digitization of Trust. Third Quarter. No. 30: 24–31. DOI: 10.15581/002.ART-2887.

Möhlmann M. (2015) Collaborative Consumption: Determinants of Satisfaction and the Likelihood of Using a Sharing Economy Option Again. Journal of Consumer Behaviour. Vol. 14. No. 3: 193–207. DOI: 10.1002/cb.1512.

Schor J.B., Fitzmaurice C.J. (2015) Collaborating and Connecting: the Emergence of the Sharing Economy. In: Reisch L.A., Thøgersen J. (eds) Handbook of Research on Sustainable Consumption. The Online Content Platform for Edward Elgar Publishing: 410–425. DOI: DOI: 10.4337/9781783471270.00039.

Starr M.A. (2009) The Social Economics of Ethical Consumption: Theoretical Considerations and Empirical Evidence. Journal of Socio-Economics. Vol. 38. No. 6: 916–925. DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2009.07.006.

Sztompka P. (1996) The Sociology of Social Change. Oxford: Blackwell.

Tadelis S. (2016) Reputation and Feedback Systems in Online Platform Market. Annual Review of Economics. Vol. 8: 321–340. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-economics-080315-015325.

Tussyadiah I.P., Pesonen J. (2018) Drivers and Barriers of Peer-to-Peer Accommodation Stay – an Exploratory Study with American and Finnish Travelers. Current Issues in Tourism. Vol. 21. No. 6: 703–720. DOI: 10.1080/13683500.2016.1141180.

Valentine D.B., Powers T.L. (2013) Generation Y Values and Llifestyle Segments. Journal of Consumer Marketing. Vol. 30. No. 7: 597–606. DOI: 10.1108/JCM-07-2013-0650.

Veen E.J. (2019) Fostering Community Values through Meal Sharing with Strangers. Sustainability. Vol. 11. No. 7. Article no. 2121: 1–14. DOI: 10.3390/su11072121.

Xiang Z., Magnini V.P., Fesenmaier D.R. (2015) Information Technology and Consumer Behavior in Travel and Tourism: Insights from Travel Planning Using the Internet. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services. Vol. 22. Iss. C: 244–249. DOI: 10.1016/j.jretconser.2014.08.005.

Content No 11, 2020