Belong Anywhere? How Airbnb Is Dismantling Generations of Civil Rights in the Name of Progress
33 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2016
Date Written: March 13, 2016
Airbnb makes it easier for ordinary people to become hoteliers, transforming their homes into rental spaces, and merging and blurring the divide between public and private accommodations. Through ethnographic interviews with more than 20 New York City Airbnb hosts, I've found that rather than the inclusive, everyone's welcome credo promoted on the Airbnb website, many hosts actively screen their prospective customers, resulting in a throw-back to the pre-Civil Rights era when discrimination and segregation in public accommodation and housing were considered legal. As Airbnb expands, it is effectively reintroducing discrimination into the hotel and housing business.
Keywords: Airbnb, sharing economy, discrimination, anti-discrimination, Civil Rights Act, public accommodation, race, ethnicity
JEL Classification: D00, H4, J1, K39, O3, Z13, Z3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation