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Your data or your life. On demonetisation, cashlessness and the digital panopticon in India
Titolo Rivista: SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO  
Autori/Curatori: Francesca Coin 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2019 Fascicolo: 154 Lingua: Inglese 
Numero pagine:  16 P. 44-59 Dimensione file:  188 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SL2019-154003
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Over the past few years, there has been a growing discussion about cashlessness. In several countries, economists, policy markers and financial institutions have advocated for a transition towards digital transactions, arguing that cashlessness can become an instrument of governance pivotal to the achievement of a more transparent and inclusive society. Conversely, cash has been described as a symbol of deviance, a symptom of illegal activities such as tax evasion and corruption. This paper focuses on the transition towards cashless transactions in India. Drawing on Noemi Klein’s definition of the shock economy, it argues that demonetisation in India can be considered as a shock therapy meant to facilitate the pursuit of a pro-corporate agenda. In a cash-based economy like India, demonetisation created a state of shock that forced large sectors of the population to adapt to digital transaction, in a process that undermined informal activities and used fear as a levy to push forward an agenda that largely benefited big credit card companies, the IT sector and fintech.

Negli ultimi anni, c’è stata una crescente discussione sulla cashless society. In diversi paesi, economisti, policy markers e istituzioni finanziarie si sono espressi a favore di una transizione verso le transazioni digitali, sostenendo che la mancanza di contanti può diventare uno strumento di governance fondamentale per la realizzazione di una società più trasparente e inclusiva. Al contrario, il denaro contante è stato descritto come simbolo di devianza, sintomo di attività illegali come l’evasione fiscale e la corruzione. Il presente articolo si concentra sulla transizione verso operazioni senza contanti in India. Basandosi sulla definizione di Noemi Klein di shock economy, esso sostiene che la demonetizzazione in India può essere considerata come una terapia d’urto che ha costretto ampi settori della popolazione ad adattarsi alle transazioni digitali, in un processo che ha minato alla base l’economia informale e ha usato lo shock come una leva per portare avanti un’agenda che ha portato grandi società di carte di credito, il settore IT e il fintech.
Keywords: Aadhaar, cashlessness, demonetizzazione, panopticon digitale

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Francesca Coin, in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 154/2019, pp. 44-59, DOI:10.3280/SL2019-154003

   

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