Social Collateral provides a unique window into the world of NGOs and the importance of interconnectedness in microcredit lending. Unlike the majority of microfinance research that focuses on the life of the borrower, Schuster takes a different approach to the topic, centering her research on the NGO employees in what might be considered “anthropology from the middle” (Knauft ). With an NGO focused on microcredit lending in Paraguay as the locus of her research, Schuster's analysis radiates outwardly, as she examines how the work of the lending organization interacts with the social lives of not just the borrowers, but those who work at the NGO as well. Schuster focuses on the interconnectedness of debt and how it binds women across social strata arguing that “patterns in economic interdependency offer a window onto an economy of gender in microfinance and in institutionalized forms of credit more generally” (13). Placing gender and the feminization of labor at the core of her analysis, the author argues that researchers should be wary of casting borrowers as powerless subjects within the realm of microfinance as this overshadows what she sees as the fundamental role of interdependency.After the introduction where Schuster provides some foundational information
Journal of Latin American & Caribbean Anthropology – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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