Women’s collectives and state-led development in West Bengal: Reimagining selves during counterinsurgency

Kamra, Lipika (2020) Women’s collectives and state-led development in West Bengal: Reimagining selves during counterinsurgency. Journal of South Asian Development, 15 (3). pp. 352-370. ISSN 9731741

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This article examines the micropolitics of state-directed women’s collectives in India called self-help groups. Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a setting where development becomes a means of counterinsurgency for the state, it looks at how rural women in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal use these collectives to negotiate with the state and make claims on state actors. The article argues that rural women aspire to new individual selves through their membership of SHG collectives. Women reimagined their selfhoods through their access to the state-sponsored public sphere and building new roles for themselves within it. The argument is presented in conversation with research on self-help groups and microfinance initiatives for rural women, and it builds on work that examines the unintended consequences of such development interventions for women’s lives.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Women’s Collectives | Self-Help | The State | Self Making | Gender and Development | Empowerment
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Anthropology
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Amees Mohammad
Date Deposited: 17 Dec 2021 04:36
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2022 04:51
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/0973174120965355
Funders: Oxford Department of International Development, United Kingdom
Additional Information: The author would like to thank Debarati Sen, Smitha Radhakrishnan, Sugandha Nagpal, Atreyee Majumder and the two anonymous reviewers who read and commented on drafts of this article.
URI: https://pure.jgu.edu.in/id/eprint/236


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