Can anti-poverty interventions alter entrenched gender norms?

This paper brings together  sociological theories of culture and gender to answer the question – how do  large-scale development interventions induce cultural change? Through three  years of ethnographic work in rural Bihar, the authors examine this question in  the context of JEEViKA, a World Bank-assisted poverty alleviation project  targeted at women, and find support for an integrative view of culture. The  paper argues that JEEViKA created new “cultural configurations” by giving  economically and socially disadvantaged women access to a well-defined network  of people and new systems of knowledge, which changed women’s habitus and broke down normative restrictions constitutive of the symbolic boundary of gender.

Link to paper(s)



Jun 2017
Field Notes: Documenting the stories of Self-Help Group (SHG) leaders
Qualitative data collection
May 2017
How can qualitative research provide insight into a project's impact?
Development sociology in impact evaluations
Apr 2017
How do you collect continuous in-depth qualitative data on women's empowerment?
Ethnographic data collection in Bihar
Sep 2016
How do you collect data from 100 village meetings in a single day?
Community Professionals training in Tamil Nadu