Who Cares? Digital Platforms, Sharing and Regulation in Connected Economies

Editors: Rodrigo Saturnino (CECS, University of Minho), Helena Sousa (CECS, University of Minho) & Jack Qiu (School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong).

Sharing Economy is a common expression used to refer to various forms of exchange facilitated by digital platforms involving a great diversity of profit-oriented and non-profit activities with a broad spectrum of social, economic, cultural, and political purposes. The underlying idea of the sharing economy is generally about giving access to unused resources. This model has rekindled the promises of an economically sustainable society shaped by the various forms of connections.

On the one hand, it is considered that the connective power of information and communication technologies has led to the creation of new business models motivated by cyber culture-inspired logics (e.g., open access, collaboration and sustainability), as well as favouring the financial autonomy of users and environmental preservation through a community consumption project on the global and/or regional scales. On the other hand, a more critical view considers that when it is being dominated by large companies such as Uber and Airbnb, Sharing Economy helps to instrumentalise expensive social concepts such as the idea of home, solidarity, and trust to reinforce capitalist interests and reiterate precariousness, technological dependence, and social inequalities.

This thematic volume aims to approach and critically understand the varied interfaces of this economy based on the emergence of digital platforms, considering the scope and scale that such models have contracted in the daily life world. It is interesting to discover, for example, how international regulatory frameworks have systematised and are dealing with the platform operations, and what strategies are being developed by users either to resist and/or to benefit from them. And yet, what are the resilience and sustainability strategies that their users have used to co-exist with such platforms?

This volume of Comunicação e Sociedade is devoted to studies on Sharing Economy. It pays special attention to proposals for articles that result from scientific research work on the following topics:

  • Sharing economics and regulatory frameworks;
  • New professions and new lifestyles;
  • Sharing economics and communication theory;
  • Social theory and economics of sharing
  • Digital platforms (for-profit and non-profit);
  • Digital labour, precariousness and dependence;
  • Unemployment through the sharing economy;
  • Alternative platform formations (e.g., platform cooperatives);
  • Collaborative consumption and environmental footprint;
  • Commodification of trust, reputation and solidarity;
  • Sustainable forms based on the sharing economy;
  • Big data, surveillance, privacy and intimacy
  • Social inequality, racism and risk behaviours through the sharing economy;
  • Economy of sharing, culture of access and connection
  • Covid-19 effects on sharing economy.

Key dates

Full article submission deadline: 15 September 2020

Editor’s decision on full articles: 15 November 2020

Deadline for sending the full version and translated version: 05 February 2021

Issue publication date: June 2021


Articles can be submitted in English or Portuguese. After the peer review process, the authors of the selected articles should ensure translation of the respective article, and the editors shall have the final decision on publication of the article.

Edition and submission

Comunicação e Sociedade is a peer-reviewed journal that uses a double blind peer review process. After submission, each paper will be distributed to two reviewers, previously invited to evaluate it, in terms of its academic quality, originality and relevance to the objectives and scope of the theme chosen for the journal’s current issue.

Originals must be submitted via the journal’s website. If you are accessing Comunicação e Sociedade for the first time, you must register in order to submit your article (indications to register here).

The guidelines for authors can be consulted here.

For further information, please contact: comunicacaoesociedade@ics.uminho.pt