Throwing out a Net over Berlin via Airbnb Bookings: Educators in Search of the Metropole’s Creative Potential
KeywordResearch Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Education; Cultural Identity; Social Interaction; Human Geography; Cultural Relevance
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Description/AbstractThe paper’s first section presents the goal of the documented research: to connect the creative cities discourse with the development of innovative educational cultures, with a spotlight on the city of Berlin. One particular element of this research was to examine the social and cultural worlds which have been accessed through the booking platform Airbnb over a two-year time frame. The paper’s second section indicates which methodology was used and how the data were collected: 27 city-wide randomly booked places were investigated, using cultural mapping, case study, participant observation, unstructured interviewing, and listening. The results are reviewed in the third section in the form of short case descriptions. Section four discusses the findings: While a majority of hosts demonstrated diverse lifestyles and practiced openly communicative and productive economic patterns (which are connected in the literature with the creative class), a particular group also demonstrated limited financial resources and precariousness. In the paper’s final section, the conclusion that the role of Airbnb in the context of urban change is more than ambivalent is discussed. This conclusion is provided despite the fact that Airbnb allows new communicative and economic forms. The Airbnb booking platform implies problematic effects on the social fabric of a city like Berlin. The paper concludes that schools should not only empower the younger generation with regard to their creative potential but that schools should also involve students in a critical analysis of urban change and challenge them to think about really sustainable forms of urban sharing.
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