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Social Capital, Microfinance, and the Politics of Development

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  • Katherine Rankin
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    Abstract

    Policy makers increasingly rely on theories of social capital to fashion development interventions that mobilize local social networks in the alleviation of poverty. The potential of such theory lies in its recognition of the social dimensions of economic growth. This recognition has inspired some innovative approaches to development, such as the now-popular microfinance model. In assessing the implications of these recent developments for feminist objectives of social transformation, this paper evaluates prevailing ideas about social capital (rooted in rational choice theory) against the grain of three alternative approaches: Marxian social capital theories ( A la Pierre Bourdieu), neo-Foucauldian governmentality studies, and my feminist ethnographic research on the social embeddedness of economic practice in a merchant community of Nepal. The paper concludes by bringing these critical insights to bear on possibilities for designing microfinance programs - and practicing a kind of development more generally - that could engage women's solidarity to challenge dominant gender ideologies.

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    File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13545700210125167
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Feminist Economics.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 1-24

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:8:y:2002:i:1:p:1-24

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    Related research

    Keywords: Microfinance; Nepal; Pierre Bourdieu; Governmentality Studies;

    References

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    1. Morduch, J., 1998. "The Microfinance Schism," Papers 626, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
    2. Goetz, Anne Marie & Gupta, Rina Sen, 1996. "Who takes the credit? Gender, power, and control over loan use in rural credit programs in Bangladesh," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 45-63, January.
    3. Rahman, Aminur, 1999. "Micro-credit initiatives for equitable and sustainable development: Who pays?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 67-82, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:
    1. Togba, Edith Leadaut, 2012. "Microfinance and households access to credit: Evidence from Côte d’Ivoire," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 473-486.
    2. Stuart, Guy, 2006. "Caste Embeddedness and Microfinance: Savings and Credit Cooperatives in Andhra Pradesh, India," Working Paper Series rwp06-037, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Morvant-Roux, Solène & Guérin, Isabelle & Roesch, Marc & Moisseron, Jean-Yves, 2014. "Adding Value to Randomization with Qualitative Analysis: The Case of Microcredit in Rural Morocco," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 302-312.
    4. Marco Tavanti, 2013. "Before Microfinance: The Social Value of Microsavings in Vincentian Poverty Reduction," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 112(4), pages 697-706, February.
    5. Beard, Victoria A., 2007. "Household Contributions to Community Development in Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 607-625, April.
    6. van Staveren, I.P., 2002. "Social capital : what is in it for feminist economics?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19126, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    7. Rao, Smriti, 2008. "Reforms with a Female Face: Gender, Liberalization, and Economic Policy in Andhra Pradesh, India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1213-1232, July.
    8. Arno Tausch & Almas Heshmati, 2012. "Migration, Openness and the Global Preconditions of "Smart Development"," Bogazici Journal of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Bogazici University, Department of Economics, vol. 26(2), pages 1-62.

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