The purpose of this paper was to decipher the contradictions and the ambiguities of crowdfunding as a term and as a practice to reveal the deeper significance of its underlying Zeitgeist.
Three steps were followed. In the first one, the authors underline the ambiguities of crowd as a concept in its traditional meaning as well as in the realities, it may depict when referring to connected people. Thereafter, the many practices of crowdfunding with the apparent univocity of this term were confronted.
These analyses led the authors to consider crowdfunding as ideology: an incantatory use of crowd can conceal an effective profit-making process, as well as a new way to unblock a stalling social elevator.
As per the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first one to try to conceptualize the social roots of crowdfunding and to analyze its deeper significance, as complementary to an already developed “how-to-do-it” literature. It is worth confronting this piece of reflexivity with the emerging literature on the assessment of specific crowdfunding operations.
Bouaiss, K., Maque, I. and Meric, J. (2015), "More than three’s a crowd . . . in the best interest of companies! Crowdfunding as Zeitgeist or ideology?", Society and Business Review, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 23-39. https://doi.org/10.1108/SBR-09-2014-0042
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