CouchSurfing and network hospitality: 'It's not just about the furniture' | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2042-7913
  • E-ISSN: 2042-7921


This article introduces a collection of ethnographies that develop innovative theoretical and methodological approaches to, a free online hospitality exchange network. The growing popularity of CouchSurfing poses significant questions about the way hospitality is performed in an era of digital communications, online social networking and alternative travel. The studies in this issue bring fresh insights to the sociological and cultural significance of hospitality in a networked world by offering detailed accounts of the new possibilities and new problems that emerge when complete strangers encounter one another online and accommodate one another offline. This article introduces the concept of 'network hospitality' to highlight some of the features that make CouchSurfing and similar social networking sites such a compelling topic of research for critical hospitality studies.


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