Embedded Cooperation: Women's Thrift Cooperatives in Andra Pradesh

Relevance of economic sociological theories in microfinance
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This paper is a research on the relevance of economic sociological theories in shaping rural microfinance structures and institutions. The paper highlights the key aspects of the theory that establishes its relationship with microfinance including:

  • Applicability of non-market forces that have a role in shaping market transactions  demonstrated through the success of peer lending and identification of members by and for the group;
  • Social nature of the efforts that go towards building market institutions.

The paper then studies a savings led institution CDF (Cooperative Development Foundation) that has emerged from the interplay of social systems rather than an explicit construction by professionals hired for the same purpose to demonstrate the relationship.

The document provides information on the data collection and research methodologies that are used for the research including:

  • Semi- structured Interviews with a group of 38 members of 11 women's thrift cooperatives in the Karimnagar and Warrangal districts - two of the poorest districts of Andhra Pradesh, India;
  • Written records of the activities of the groups supported through research;
  • Books of accounts of the groups.

The paper provides details of the information collected and its interpretation giving an overview of the structures and operation of the cooperatives including:

  • Legal form;
  • Management and their operational structure;
  • Products including savings and loans.

The paper concludes with a detailed discussion on the inconsistencies of this entrenchment and the manner in which rural women have imbibed formal systems into their daily lives.

About this Publication

By Stuart, G. , Kanneganti, S.