Embedded Cooperation: Women's Thrift Cooperatives in Andhra Pradesh

16 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2003

See all articles by Guy Stuart

Guy Stuart

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Sandhya Kanneganti

Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty - Department of Rural Development

Date Written: May 2003

Abstract

Two central ideas in economic sociology are embeddedness and the social construction of economic institutions. Based on data from women's thrift cooperatives established in villages in Andhra Pradesh, India, the paper identifies a paradox in the creation of new economic institutions. Such institutions are both constrained by and sustained by what existed before their arrival, and their survival is dependent on how they adapt to the existing social structure. Their transformative capacity is contingent on their ability to survive, but also to challenge the existing social structure. The data suggest that the thrift cooperatives have enabled some women to alter the gender relations within their households, but that the cooperatives seem to be reproducing caste structures.

Keywords: Economics, Microeconomics, Human Rights, International Development, Nonprofit Sector

Suggested Citation

Stuart, Guy and Kanneganti, Sandhya, Embedded Cooperation: Women's Thrift Cooperatives in Andhra Pradesh (May 2003). KSG Working Papers Series No. RWP03-026. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=413160 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.413160

Guy Stuart (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-496-0100 (Phone)
617-496-6104 (Fax)

Sandhya Kanneganti

Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty - Department of Rural Development ( email )

Andhra Pradesh
India

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