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Microfinance and Its Discontents: Women in Debt in Bangladesh Paperback – March 7, 2011
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"It is precisely because the microcredit mantra has been so endlessly repeated, often in place of actual empirical documentation to back its claims, that Microfinance and Its Discontents is so compelling. This is an outstanding, courageous, and path-breaking piece of scholarship; one that will doubtless unsettle the microcredit establishment, and by extension, key presumptions of neoliberal research agendas." —Kamala Visweswaran, University of Texas, Austin
"Lamia Karim has done an excellent job by juxtaposing facts against myths, lies against truths and objective research against subjective hagiographies. . . . I believe this book is an important addendum to the growing literature that demonstrates and deconstructs the lies and myths about microcredit and NGO business in Bangladesh and elsewhere in the Third World." —countercurrents.org
"Karim's book is a timely contribution to the debate on microfinance, and is a challenging and engaging read for the specialist as well as the lay reader. I believe that her ideas will serve as a guideline for future researchers’ and policy-makers inquiries into the gender aspect of microfinance." —Soumya Mishra, Governance across Borders
"Karim’s book serves as a stark and timely reminder of the value of ethnographic research in offering a deeper understanding of how developmental interventions in specific institutional and local contexts may reproduce or even exacerbate structural inequalities, and also in informing the strategies that seek to counter these inequalities." —Economic & Political Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
By 2006 there were only three large microfinance institutions in Bangladesh - Grameen Bank, BRAC, and ASA, covering 90% of the country. Ninety-five percent of their microfinance borrowers are women, though most of the money is then used by their husbands - sometimes even appropriated by a widow's male relatives. (Grameen tried loaning money to men - most would not accept the terms; another problem - most are working during the day.) Rural centers of 40 women, sub-divided into 8 groups of five each, became the structure of microfinance. Small loans of $100 - 200 were expected to be repaid within a year at a fixed effective interest rate of 32% plus sundry hidden costs - less than the prevailing moneylenders' rate of 120%. It did not, however, stamp out those moneylenders and their rates.
When a default occurs, the bank withheld money from the other members, forcing them to either pay up or lose access to future loans.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a quality ethnography. Anyone studying anthropology should read it.Published 3 months ago by Dwight Underwood
I received the book in the expected date. Excellent ethnographic study about microfinance and the other face of the microcredits in Bangladesh. Thank you.Published 4 months ago by Maria Sol Ramirez