But how do jurists and legal theorists read and write Airbnb’s story? Do they narrate it as a Cinderella story, the fairy-tale rise to power and glory of three drudges? Do they recount the story of a rare and fantastic ‘unicorn’, a start-up company that reached a $1 billion valuation? Do they retell the ballad of Robin Hood, a heroic outlaw, who robbed the rich to give to the poor, a model of ingenuity, altruism, and popular justice? Do they adopt the economic rhetoric of competition, describing the relations between Airbnb and hotels, and between Airbnb and states, as David-and-Goliath battles between stodgy giants and an innovative newcomer? Do they warn Little Red Riding Hood against the Big Bad Wolf? Or do they caution the three bears about Goldilocks, the gentrifier?
To problematize the valuation of hospitality, this blogpost examines the interplay between different dispositifs that, so to speak, value ‘hospitality’ – tourism, and also migration and citizenship. Continue reading >>