Does Microcredit “Empower”? Reflections on the Grameen Bank Debate
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Recent debates about the Grameen Bank’s microlending practices depict participating female borrowers as having fundamentally empowering or disempowering experiences. I argue that this discursive framework may be too reductive: it can conceal how technique and technology simultaneously facilitate relations of dependence and independence; and it can diminish our capacity to understand and assess innovative development initiatives.
KeywordsDevelopment ethics Empowerment Phenomenology Globalization Grameen Bank Mobile phones
I am grateful to the following people for their assistance with this essay: Richard Dietrich, Don Ihde, Verna Gehring, Robert Rosenberger, David Suits, and Katie Terezakis.
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