Små lån, fattiga vänner : Om betydelsen av symboliskt och socialt kapital för mikrofinansanvändare i tre kenyanska organisationer, 2002-2006
Sammanfattning: The aim of the thesis is to investigate how poor people are viewed on an international policy level and what role the social context has for microfinance users. The study uses research methods such as text analysis, interviews and observations. To be able to achieve the aim of the thesis, a theoretical framework utilizing the concepts of symbolic and social capital and trust has been used. Stakeholders expect that microfinance will improve poor people and their access to financial services. The idea is that this will strengthen people’s livelihoods through its empowering effects. The thesis demonstrates that it is crucial to the international aid stakeholders to identify the poor that are to be reached by microfinance. However, the categories that are utilized are limited when it comes to the extent they include the variety of dimensions regarding what it means to live under scarce circumstances.At the same time, to live under scarce circumstances seems to be much more complex than what the international policies envisage. Poor people lack economic capital and many do not have access to convenient financial institutions, but they also lack other essential things. The thesis shows how the users’ need for trust is as important as the financial services as such. To be able to foresee other people’s behavior, which is necessary in the process aiming to establish trust, there are two enabling factors: firstly, the existence of shared norms and secondly, a social setting that guarantees their existence. Norms reduce the complexity that living with others brings. This means that there are aspects of inclusion and exclusion involved: exclusion, since a system that includes rules means that people who do not live according to the norms could be considered to have broken the rules and therefore are no longer accepted as full worthy members; inclusion, since living according the norms will be rewarded with recognition and acceptance by the others in the group and increased symbolic and social capital will be the outcome. If norms exist within a social setting it will be more effective and therefore useful for the establishment of trust.
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