The Representation of Airbnb in Newspapers: A Critical Discourse Analysis

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Current Issues in Tourism, 2021
Issue Date:
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Since its emergence in 2008, there has been a growing interest in the meaning of Airbnb to various stakeholders. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, this paper examines the representation of Airbnb in the local newspapers of Sydney communities with the largest share of Airbnb listings. Analysis of these texts revealed a strong message concerning the costs to community and issues related to government regulation. Underlying the themes was a discourse of individual host rights to profit versus community wellbeing. The discourse of the industry as a sharing, welcoming form of hospitality was also evident, as was the persuasive language of technology to create an innovative platform and industry. We question the language used and the inherent meaning, arguing that Airbnb can be seen in many ways to fit the bill of ‘platform capitalism’ and ‘techno-chauvinism’, with the fallout being externalities for the communities in which Airbnb resides.
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