Alternative Marketplaces In The 21st Century: Building Community Through Sharing Events

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Pia A. Albinsson PhD, Associate Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: We examine alternative consumption including collaborative consumption, sharing, and unconsumption (i.e., postconsumption activities such as upcycling, reuse, recycling, etc.) at non-monetary-based private and public sharing events including Really Really Free Markets (RRFMs). These alternative marketplaces (RRFMs) were initially organized by the Anarchist Movement as a form of resistance to the capitalist economic model. However, many consumer groups now utilize this model to stage public sharing events as a means of raising awareness about various issues including sustainability and overconsumption. Participants bring, share, and take goods without any expectation of monetary or other exchange. There is limited research on collaborative consumption and sharing in non-monetary marketplaces. We address this gap by exploring alternative marketplaces, organized by consumers for consumers, utilizing qualitative research methods. Our findings indicate that a sense of community is both a driver of participation and an outcome of these events. Organizers and participants utilize these venues to share knowledge and possessions for various ideological and practical reasons. Our findings also indicate that these events challenge the entrenched notions of exchange and reciprocity. Our research contributes to the literature by highlighting the importance of community, collaboration, and changing consumer mindsets to the success of such sharing efforts.

Additional Information

Albinsson, P. and Perera, B. (2012), Alternative marketplaces in the 21st century: building community through sharing events. Journal of Consumer Behaviour : An International Research Review. Wiley, ZDB-ID 2194377-1. - Vol. 11.2012, 4, p. 303-315. DOI: 10.1002/cb.1389. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2012
sustainability, Sharing events, consumption, overconsumption

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