Recasting Culture to Undo Gender: A Sociological Analysis of Jeevika in Rural Bihar, India

58 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Paromita Sanyal

Paromita Sanyal

Cornell University, Dept. of Sociology

Vijayendra Rao

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Shruti Majumdar

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: September 15, 2015

Abstract

This paper brings together sociological theories of culture and gender to answer the question ? how do large-scale development interventions induce cultural change? Through three years of ethnographic work in rural Bihar, the authors examine this question in the context of Jeevika, a World Bank-assisted poverty alleviation project targeted at women, and find support for an integrative view of culture. The paper argues that Jeevika created new ?cultural configurations? by giving economically and socially disadvantaged women access to a well-defined network of people and new systems of knowledge, which changed women?s habitus and broke down normative restrictions constitutive of the symbolic boundary of gender.

Keywords: Inequality, Social Development & Poverty

Suggested Citation

Sanyal, Paromita and Rao, Vijayendra and Majumdar, Shruti, Recasting Culture to Undo Gender: A Sociological Analysis of Jeevika in Rural Bihar, India (September 15, 2015). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 7411. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2661137

Paromita Sanyal

Cornell University, Dept. of Sociology ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

Vijayendra Rao (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-458-8034 (Phone)
202-522-1153 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://vijayendrarao.org

Shruti Majumdar

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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