Credit to Capabilities

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 11, 2014 - Business & Economics - 326 pages
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Credit to Capabilities focuses on the controversial topic of microcredit's impact on women's empowerment and, especially, on the neglected question of how microcredit transforms women's agency. Based on interviews with hundreds of economically and socially vulnerable women from peasant households, this book highlights the role of the associational mechanism - forming women into groups that are embedded in a vast network and providing the opportunity for face-to-face participation in group meetings - in improving women's capabilities. This book reveals the role of microcredit groups in fostering women's social capital, particularly their capacity of organizing collective action for public goods and for protecting women's welfare. It argues that, in the Indian context, microcredit groups are becoming increasingly important in rural civil societies. Throughout, the book maintains an analytical distinction between married women in male-headed households and women in female-headed households in discussing the potentials and the limitations of microcredit's social and economic impacts.
 

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Contents

The global trajectory of microcredit
9
Agency
36
Converting loans into leverage
61
The power of participation
93
Microcredit and collective action
128
why socioreligious
163
Loans and wellbeing
202
Interpreting microcredit
235
the future of microcredit
252
Appendix
282
Bibliography
311
Index
322
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About the author (2014)

Paromita Sanyal is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Cornell University, New York. Her research interests include development, gender, economic sociology, and participatory forms of governance like deliberative democracy (gram sabha in India). She has been previously affiliated with Harvard University, Massachusetts and the Development Research Group at the World Bank.