Vient de paraître : "Financial literacy training in Cambodia as a tool to form borrowers' subjectivities" par Phasy Res
Phasy Res, doctorante en anthropologie sous la direction de Frédéric Bourdier au sein de l'UMR Développement et Sociétés, est l'auteure du chapitre "Financial literacy training in Cambodia as a tool to form borrowers' subjectivities" dans l'ouvrage intitulé Financializations of Development.
This chapter presents a case study on the financialization of development in Cambodia. It examines financial literacy as a tool in forming borrowers’ subjectivities. In order to do so, I observed 18 financial literacy training workshops (17 led by two major microfinance institutions (MFIs) and one led by a local non-governmental organization) and conducted 15 semi-structured interviews. These methods capture the process of forming subjectivities surrounding risk and debt responsibility. It also reveals how the local community either accepts or contests these formations. The data was collected between July and December 2017, in rural regions of Cambodia. The analysis shows that MFIs, through the discourse of an entrepreneurial mindset, attempt to construct a reality where risk and over-indebtedness are solely the responsibility of the borrower. The MFIs further this narrative by portraying over-indebted households as reckless and irresponsible. This chapter concludes that the observed financial literacy training merely serves as a tool to deepen the financialization of development in Cambodia. It deepens the financialization of development through reorienting development as a lack of financial resources. Such reorientation can impair citizens to imagine alternative possibilities for development which is beyond a lack of financial resource. In order to address this concern, the chapter suggests two possible alternatives: local communities could be strongly encouraged (1) to question the legitimacy and effectiveness of microfinance as a development strategy, and (2) to recognize that risks are often due to external forces. Through such countercurrent efforts, this chapter advocates for more solidarity with debt-distressed households to demand national mechanisms that allow systematic debt forgiveness, with a thorough evaluation and assessment tools.
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