Selling, Sharing, and Everything in Between: The hybrid economies of collaborative networks.
Recent consumer research has examined contexts where market-based exchange, gift-giving,
sharing, and other modes of exchange occur simultaneously and obey several intersecting logics,
but has not conceptualized these so-called hybrid economic forms, nor explained how these
hybrids are shaped and sustained. Using ethnographic and netnographic data from the
collaborative network of geocaching, this study explains the emergence of hybrid economies.
Performativity theory is mobilized to demonstrate that the hybrid status of these economies is
constantly under threat of destabilization by the struggle between competing performativities of
market and non-market modes of exchange. Despite latent tension between competing
performativities, the hybrid economy is sustained through consumer-producer engagements in
collaborative consumption and production, the creation of zones of indeterminacy, and the
enactment of tournaments of value that dissipate controversies around hybrid transactions.
Implications are drawn for consumer research on the interplay between market and non-market
Journal of Consumer Research.
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