Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Second Department


Reader 1

Melinda Herrold-Menzies

Reader 2

Phil Zuckerman

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Rights Information

© 2015 Lauren F Phipps


This thesis contrasts a “real” sharing economy with the commonly held understanding of this new mode of exchange. By examining the lived experiences within a successful example of sharing, we can see its true value and acknowledge where other businesses fall short. Based on in-depth interviews with users of, this thesis illustrates the importance of motivation within a real sharing economy, highlighting the existence of generalized reciprocity, the value of community, and altruism between members of this gifting platform.