This article investigates the social meanings that can be found in the sharing economy by adopting a sociological perspective to study different platforms and practices that embody new proposals for and experiences of alternative produc¬tive paradigms. The research was conducted in Italy and was based on qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews with 70 BlaBlaCar consumers, 28 Airbnb consumers and 30 Gnammo consumers. The data pertain to the shared experiences (e.g. riding, hospitality services and social eating) of the prosumers and are gathered from the perspectives of consumers, who can also be prosumers. While the ability of the platforms to enable peer-to-peer providers to earn a profit is a common element characterizing our case studies, the analysis also highlights the following aspects: (a) three different profiles of prosumers, which express personal and economic investments; and (b) different forms of sociality and sociability within the same sharing experiences.
Keywords: Sharing economy, collaborative economy, prosumer, sociability