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Relative indemnity: risk, insurance, and kinship in Indian microfinance

Kar, Sohini (2017) Relative indemnity: risk, insurance, and kinship in Indian microfinance. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23 (2). 302 - 319. ISSN 1359-0987

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Identification Number: 10.1111/1467-9655.12608


With the growth of commercial microfinance in India, the poor have been increasingly enfolded into circuits of global finance. In making these collateral-free loans, however, microfinance institutions (MFIs) engage in new forms of risk management. While loans are made to women with the goal of economic and social empowerment, MFIs require male kin to serve as guarantors. Drawing on fieldwork in the city of Kolkata, I argue that through the requirement of male guarantors, MFIs hedge on kinship, even as they speculate on the bottom of the pyramid as a new market of accumulation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Royal Anthropological Institute
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 10:39
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 03:54
Funders: Wenner-Gren Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Andrew Mellon Foundation, National Science Foundation

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