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Contested credit landscapes: microcredit, self-help and self-determination in rural Bangladesh

Cons, Jason and Paprocki, Kasia ORCID: 0000-0001-5202-351X (2010) Contested credit landscapes: microcredit, self-help and self-determination in rural Bangladesh. Third World Quarterly, 31 (4). pp. 637-654. ISSN 0143-6597

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01436591003701141


This paper makes a methodological and political intervention in debates over microcredit. It explores outcomes of microcredit interventions in the lives of residents of Arampur, a village in rural northern Bangladesh. Using a community-based research and engagement strategy, we explore recipients' own critiques and experiences of microcredit. These experiences suggest that the cultural and economic template that many microfinance institutions (mfis) superimpose on communities not only fails to map to lived realities, but often reinforces the very problems that mfis claim to address. Microcredit and other ‘self-help’ development strategies operate through idealised notions of poverty and rural life. We ask how restoring the voices of recipients to debates that seek to shape their futures could transform such interventions. In conclusion, we explore the ongoing debate over microcredit in Arampur and reflect on how re-rooting debates over development in specific places might move such debates from questions of ‘self-help’ to grounded and historicised projects of self-determination.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2010 Taylor & Francis
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 27 Sep 2017 12:56
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2024 01:15

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