The Youwei Library - sharing of books and revival of local culture in China
Benedicte Brøgger (BI Norwegian Business School)
Paper short abstract:
The paper traces the story of library in a small town in China. It was set up by a Chinese returnee who felt that her hometown was "dying". Young adults had left for work elsewhere.The old and the young were left behind with limited access to books and training in creative and critical reflection.
Paper long abstract:
The sharing economy in China takes a different form than other parts of the world. The main driver was the the retail sector, and even today, the enterprises that succeed are commercial enterprises. The social impact of the sharing enterprises is limited by severe restrictions on setting up non-profit organizations and on doing social work. Still, the sharing economy is growing rapidly and does have considerable social impact. The paper analyses the emergence of one typical sharing enterprise and how it is embedded in a local community. Through its organization, services and network, it serves to reproduce, but also to change established power relations and cultural understanding of self and society.
The sharing economy: sharing with whom, sharing what and sharing for what purpose?