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Beyond Access: Reconceptualizing Digital Identification and Inclusion through the Case of Aadhaar

Addo, Atta and Senyo, PK (2020) Beyond Access: Reconceptualizing Digital Identification and Inclusion through the Case of Aadhaar Academy of Management Proceedings.

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India’s Aadhaar biometric identification system—the world’s largest digital identification scheme which provides unique identification to over 1.2 billion people—has become a vibrant archetype of the pursuit of inclusion through technology. However, the notion of inclusion appears to be taken for granted in various studies of Aadhaar, with little problematization of technology’s role in realizing its multiple facets. Against this backdrop, we survey conceptualizations of inclusion in the discourses on Aadhaar to understand its facets and underlying assumptions. Drawing on a literature review of studies that link the Aadhaar to inclusion, we show that the dominant discourse equates inclusion to the potential for accessing welfare provisioning, services, or other socioeconomic benefits through the instrumentality of technology. We critique this dominant position of inclusion as narrow, by drawing upon the body of work on social inclusion and human development. We suggest a reconceptualization of digitally enabled social inclusion that attends to higher-level processes and outcomes beyond access—such as participation, transformation, empowerment, and emancipation—and articulates technology implications beyond technical-rational instrumentality. We contribute a conceptual framework of digital inclusion that has relevance for other developing countries undergoing digital identification initiatives for inclusion.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Surrey Business School
Authors :
Senyo, PK
Date : 2020
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2020 Academy of Management. Copyright of Academy of Management Journal is the property of Academy of Management and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Digital Identification; Inclusion; Aadhaar; Information Systems; Socioeconomic Development; Discourse
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 16 Jun 2020 23:32
Last Modified : 16 Jun 2020 23:32

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