Homing Austerity: Airbnb in Athens

My latest project is an ethnography of Airbnb. It extends my interest in infrastructure and sociality by investigating how Airbnb is transforming the relationship between subjectivity, real estate, and work in Athens, Greece. My aim is to understand the joint world-making of platform capitalism and austerity governance. The book’s primary ethnographic site is the Greek capital, where a “gold rush” toward Airbnb is generating novel approaches to design, infrastructures, property and work as it enlists people into new relationships with their homes and with those of others.  Homing Austerity examines the ways in which Airbnb as a “soft” infrastructure that takes the form of a digital platform transforms “hard” infrastructures such as homes and the technologies they house (e.g. air conditioners) and, consequently, how humans experience the world and themselves. It considers how what we might think of as an “infrastructural dialectic” between hard and soft infrastructures is affecting landed property, the foundation of modern Greek society, as well as the aesthetics and practices of managing it (e.g. “decluttering”). My goal with this project is to understand the productive intersection of platform capitalism, infrastructure and austerity in a localized context. 

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