Performing “home” in the sharing economies of tourism: the Airbnb experience in Sofia, Bulgaria
This article explores how “home” is performed in the emerging sharing economies of tourism, drawing on the example of Airbnb in Sofia, Bulgaria. Based on an (auto)ethnographic approach, this article analyses the sometimes contested ways in which both hosts and guests engage in the everyday embodied practices of home-making. In doing so, it challenges Airbnb’s essentialized idea of home as a site of belonging, “authenticity” or “localness”. It also shows how the political and historical specificities, as well as the materialities of people’s homes significantly shape the ways in which ordinary practices of homemaking play out and consequently affect feelings of (un)homeliness as part of the Airbnb experience. By using performance theory as an analytical framework, this article seeks to contribute to a critical understanding of the contemporary geographies of home in relation to the global sharing economies of tourism, one that is attuned to openness, interrelatedness, and a constant mode of becoming.
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