The Postmodern Unexpected Guest: The Couchsurfing Experience Process

AYDIN S., Duyan E. C.

JOURNAL OF ECONOMY CULTURE AND SOCIETY, no.60, pp.227-243, 2019 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/jecs2019-0003
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-243
  • Keywords: Social Exchange Theory, Couchsurfing, Eskisehir, SOCIAL-EXCHANGE THEORY, HOSPITALITY, TRUST, RECIPROCITY
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: No


The subject of this research is the formation of Couchsurfing (CS) based on free accommodation on the internet within the context of social change theory. The aim of the research is to discover why people share their homes with people through CS and to evaluate them in accordance with social change theory. In this context, seven participants were interviewed in Eskisehir with CS members and hosted guests. As part of the research, the concepts of the CS experience, expectations, purpose, established relationships, trust and reciprocity were questioned. In this study, the CS experience process of the participants was learned and it was determined that CS might provide a different perspective in social change theory. The CS experience is explained with a model proposal as a process within social change theory. According to this model proposal, people move through three phases in CS. The first phase is the internet interaction. The second phase is the face-to-face interaction and the last phase is the communication following the CS experience. Trust for participants is a prominent topic in research in this area. This is due to the fact that the first interaction is caried out over the internet. In the context of social exchange theory, the prominent concept is reciprocity. Future research can be structured on the variables trust and reciprocity. In addition, CS research can be developed through participatory observation and colecting field notes. Lastly, research suggestions are presented.