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Confessional and parochial responses to risk management

Economic risk management that is more socially informed and inclusionary needed

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

The confessional model is increasingly being used as a vehicle of risk management in the global service and knowledge-based economy. Thus, in preventive and remedial healthcare, in education, banking and insurance, prospective services’ end-users are required to ‘confess’ a number of present and past aspects of their lives, those of family members and of relevant associates. Particularly in the case of banking and insurance, the farther one strays from ‘the norm’, the greater the chances of being pathologised and financially or socially penalised.

The stakes may be low to medium to high, as well as personal and national.

Consider if and to what extent it is relevant to you at this moment in time to have your car insured or getting a home loan: There are people who would relish the pretext of being denied policy cover to ditch their car, bum lifts or ride a bike; there are others for whom a sanctioned home loan is a potential exit route from domestic violence.

Nationally speaking, home ownership and insured health, property and valuables are also factored in the Gross Domestic Product, being this a measure of total income in the economy and the total expenditure on the economy's output of goods and services. GDP informs risk considerations for further investment, which in turn impacts a country’s economic development.

Meanwhile, the more banks and financial services market trust and global memes, the clearer the acknowledgment that parochialism is pivotal when choosing where to commit financial assets and risks. In this sense, economic risk management dwells on local attachments and familiarity, which are typical of a parochial social setup. However, rather than perceived as vehicles of cultural atrophy, local attachments and familiarity are re-purposed as marketing and profit-making strategies.

Nonetheless, as the explained dynamics of economic risk management divest parochialism of normative prejudice and disdain, the latter are shifted onto the individual. The General Data Protection Regulation restricts dissemination of personal information solicited by banks, financial entities and insurances - for example, of a medical histology or an unlawful behaviour. Notwithstanding, most data gathering tools used for economic risk management (ex. application forms) manifest negligible sensitivity to ‘the right to be forgotten’ by requesting data which, in some cases, is not even recorded on a police conduct certificate.

This calls for economic risk management that is more socially informed and inclusionary. Yet, the anti-parochial discourse that is dominant in the socio-cultural commentary of our communities hampers this to the extent that any attempt to re-think parochialism becomes confessional. This short-changes our communities by demonising parochialism a priori, rather than imagining if and how it can be re-purposed for enhanced social well-being.

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