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Your data or your life. On demonetisation, cashlessness and the digital panopticon in India
Journal Title: SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO  
Author/s: Francesca Coin 
Year:  2019 Issue: 154 Language: English 
Pages:  16 Pg. 44-59 FullText PDF:  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.
Keywords: Aadhaar, cashlessness, demonetization, digital panopticon, platform economy

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

   

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