Values Added: Transaction, Audience and Identity
The research extends some of my previous work on monetary circuits and rural finance in India to the vibrantly emerging fields of demonetization, platformization and electronic payments.
The epistemological interest revolves around one major question: If money, as a growing body of research suggests, is not well addressed as a thing as such, but is rather a permanent process to be specified in personal and collective, aesthetic, material and virtual accounts of life and history – where is the money located? Or, to put this slighty different: What are the working connections between value generalized either in the form or the account-form of money, and values that are “added” in the course of its trans”act”ion?
Investigating and comparing transactions in cash and electronic money, the activity of doing payments assumes center stage in an ethnographic approach which seeks to address
(1) the materiality and infrastructure of money and payment
(2) the question how diverse forms of money can be accessed, perceived, embodied, moved and operated.
(3) The question how the flow of money transports information about those who transact.
(4) The role for acts and audiences of payment in mutually responsive processes of value creation.