Why Do Middle-Class Positions Matter? The Alignment of Short-Term Rental Suppliers to the Interests of Capital

Ismael Yrigoy, Marc Morell, Nora Müller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Underlying the idea of the middle classes there is a contradictory positionality, the relations of which ultimately enhance capital accumulation. By opening Marxist critique to Weberian approaches to class, we explain how the self-ascription of short-term rental (STR) suppliers to the middle-class idea boosts exploitation and accumulation. Housing income, and recently that originating in STRs, has been used to maintain the symbolic and material status of the so-called middle classes in Spain, and specifically in Palma. Based on statistical data analysis and interviews with STR suppliers, managers and workers, we analyse the contradictory class positionality of STR suppliers in Palma (Majorca, Spain). First, we argue, that STR suppliers are part of the middle classes since they bear attributes of rent, labour and also capital, as they employ workers to produce a tourism commodity. Second, we contend that STR overnight stays should not only be considered as land rent payments, but also as the sale of a tourism commodity. Third, we claim that the contradictory positionality of the middle classes fuels self-exploitation, for STR suppliers misalign their interests with those of capital.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)959-978
Number of pages20
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • class positionality
  • exploitation
  • middle classes
  • Palma
  • short-term rentals
  • STR suppliers

Field of Science*

  • 5.7 Social and Economic geography
  • 5.9 Other social sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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