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Borrowing Together
Microfinance and Cultivating Social Ties

  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108420525

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  • In Borrowing Together, Becky Hsu examines the social aspects of the most intriguing element of group-lending microfinance: social collateral. She investigates the details of the social relationships among fellow borrowers and between borrowers and lenders, finding that these relationships are the key that explains the outcomes in rural China. People access money through their social networks, but they also do the opposite: cultivate their social relationships by moving money. Hsu not only looks closely at what transpired in the course of a microfinance intervention, but also reverses the gaze to examine the expectations that brought the program to the site in the first place. Hsu explains why microfinance's 'articles of faith' failed to comprehend the influence of longstanding relationships and the component of morality, and how they raise doubts - not only about microfinance - but also about the larger goals of development research.

    • Proposes a new theory of microfinance based on pragmatist theory
    • Investigates the cultural aspects of microfinance
    • Examines the workings of social collateral
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108420525
    • length: 186 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.4kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of figures
    List of tables
    Acknowledgments
    1. Group lending, social ties, and a pragmatist theory of microfinance
    2. Microfinance in China: history, influences, and program efforts
    3. Credit and favor: the effect of social influence on repayment and default
    4. Repaying a friend: making the self and the impossible default
    5. The social cost of sanctions: why borrowers avoided making others lose face
    6. Personhood, microfinance, and a new proposition for the sociology of development
    Appendix: fieldwork methodology
    Glossary
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Becky Yang Hsu, Georgetown University, Washington DC
    Becky Yang Hsu (Ph.D., Princeton University) is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgetown University, Washington DC. Her research interests include religion, organizations, Chinese society, and global development. Her research has received numerous awards from the Eastern Sociological Society and the American Sociological Association. She is currently doing new research on how people define happiness in China, which has been featured in The Washington Post.

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