Micro-credit, Trust, and Social Solidarity in Bangladesh: A Socio-philosophical Analysis

Cultural Dynamics 32 (4):282-306 (2020)
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Drèze and Sen are not entirely right in their apparent glorification of the roles of nongovernmental organizations in Bangladesh in An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions because they leave out and/or de-emphasize some important issues, especially those that are related to the problematic trusting relationship between nongovernmental organizations in Bangladesh and rural poor women. Nongovernmental organizations’ use of trust disturbs social solidarity in rural Bangladesh mainly because of their massive supervision mechanism that they undertake to sustain the so-called trusting relationship between them and their debtors. The massive supervision mechanism damages social solidarity also because it creates a tension between local norms and nongovernmental organizations’ neoliberalist values of “discipline, efficiency and competitiveness,” which nongovernmental organizations try to inject into villagers by their numerous social engineering programs, which are state’s responsibility. Nongovernmental organization monitoring has some psychological impacts on their clients that also contribute to shaking social solidarity. The absence of a proper trusting relationship between nongovernmental organizations and rural poor women reduces the capabilities of the latter as a result of which Drèze and Sen’s glorification of Bangladeshi nongovernmental organizations and Sen’s capabilities approach are in tension. However, there are strategies that Bangladeshi nongovernmental organizations should employ to address the issues raised due to their massive supervision mechanism.
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First archival date: 2020-05-09
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