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

Abstract

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

Ravenelle, Alexandrea, Belong Anywhere? How Airbnb Is Dismantling Generations of Civil Rights in the Name of Progress (March 13, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2838219 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2838219

Alexandrea Ravenelle (Contact Author)

Mercy College ( email )

555 Broadway
New York City, NY 678551
United States

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