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Post-ownership as an interpretation and experience of economic change´s Profile image

Post-ownership as an interpretation and experience of economic change

01.09.2022 - 31.08.2025
School of Humanities, Philosophical Faculty


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The research project explores the concept of post-ownership as a way of outlining one of the changes in economic discourse and thinking especially characteristic to the 2020s. The project will examine how the idea of post-ownership has taken shape, how and why it is made attractive, and how it is organised as part of everyday economic life. The project analyses post-ownership at two levels. The ethnographic level of the study will look at how post-ownership manifests itself in the everyday life of the economy. The spectrum of experiences of ownership and non-ownership will be explored through three case studies on post-ownership in the fields of libraries, transport and urban culture. The genealogical level of the study will examine the genesis of post-ownership, i.e. where, how and from what ingredients the idea of abandonment is constructed and how it is made culturally attractive. The building blocks will be traced back to policy documents, reports from think tanks and consultants, research literature and media representations of non-ownership. In the research setting, post-ownership serves as an example of the performativity of the discourse of economic change, i.e. how economic discourses simultaneously both describe social change and are involved in producing and directing it. By cross-reading institutionalised economic discourse, cultural ideals and everyday economic experiences, the research helps to identify more precisely the symbolic-material dynamics of economic power and opens up perspectives on the diversity of the economy living under the cover of hegemonic discourses.