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Self-help, natality and ‘civic growth’

Banerjee, Mukulika (2023) Self-help, natality and ‘civic growth’. The Journal of Development Studies, 59 (7). 1046 - 1059. ISSN 0022-0388

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Identification Number: 10.1080/00220388.2023.2195525


This paper examines the role that SHGs (self-help groups) have played in the creation of ‘civic growth’ and changing electoral politics in India. Based on ethnographic engagement in a village in West Bengal before and after the formation of these groups, the impact of the transformative effect of these groups on women is placed in a wider political context. The activity of the SHG enabled horizontal solidarities to emerge despite the vertical divisions in village society and successfully challenge the status quo. It builds on a growing literature on women’s empowerment and capacity for collective action through SHGs to show that the notion of ‘empowerment’ can be extended to include the capability for active citizenship and skills in how to do politics, what Arendt calls ‘natality’.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2023 The Author
Divisions: Anthropology
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2023 09:33
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 17:30

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