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Authors: Meyer, Margaret
Advisors: Zelizer, Viviana
Department: Sociology
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: Microfinance institutions (MFIs) target female participants. We know little about the perspectives of those in charge of recruiting and overseeing participants. In this thesis, I further the study of gender and microfinance by investigating the gender perspectives of the staff of MFIs. I focus on the workers and board members of an MFI I call Global Aid in Tanzania. Through 13 in depth interviews and observation, I analyze their perceptions of men’s and women’s spending, saving, and earning habits. I find that the workers’ understandings of how gender shapes economic practices are drawn from their shared assumptions of how culture dictates expectations for men and women. This resulted in judgments that women were better participants than men in Global Aid’s programs. They also observed an invisible influence on the taking and spending of the loans by the men in the communities. This calls for further research on the impact of female-targeted programs on the male members of the communities that they serve. Additionally, I found that the board members took a rational choice perspective when targeting women for aid.
Extent: 94 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Sociology, 1954-2020

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