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Open Access An Assessment of the Uber App’s Normative Practice

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An Assessment of the Uber App’s Normative Practice

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This study analyzes a complex case in society, namely, how to distinguish ride-sharing applications, such as Uber, from ordinary taxi enterprises. We conduct a structural analysis of normative practices with distinctions at the following levels: (1) aspects; (2) radical types, genotypes, and phenotypes; (3) part-whole, enkaptic relationships, and interlinkages; and (4) the distinction between qualifying and foundational functions as it is captured in the theory of normative practices. We conclude that the genotype of taxi matchmaking enterprises, of which Uber is an example, represents a novel normativity that could positively serve society and also produce normative challenges, depending on its governance. Therefore, regulators should not dismiss the entire genotype of taxi matchmaking enterprises, but should address the phenotypes that are illegal or that cannot thrive without the illegal behaviors of its users. This conclusion is clear from the structural and directional sides of the practice.

Affiliations: 1: Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, christinevanburken@gmail.com ; 2: Uppsala University, Uppsala, and Linnaeus University, Växjö, Sweden, darek.haftor@im.uu.se

10.1163/23528230-08202006
/content/journals/10.1163/23528230-08202006
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This study analyzes a complex case in society, namely, how to distinguish ride-sharing applications, such as Uber, from ordinary taxi enterprises. We conduct a structural analysis of normative practices with distinctions at the following levels: (1) aspects; (2) radical types, genotypes, and phenotypes; (3) part-whole, enkaptic relationships, and interlinkages; and (4) the distinction between qualifying and foundational functions as it is captured in the theory of normative practices. We conclude that the genotype of taxi matchmaking enterprises, of which Uber is an example, represents a novel normativity that could positively serve society and also produce normative challenges, depending on its governance. Therefore, regulators should not dismiss the entire genotype of taxi matchmaking enterprises, but should address the phenotypes that are illegal or that cannot thrive without the illegal behaviors of its users. This conclusion is clear from the structural and directional sides of the practice.

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2017-12-12
2018-09-20

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