Social Capital’s Dark Side and Patriarchy in India

Lester Andrist, University of Maryland

Social capital is often extolled as a benevolent resource, but in India it may also work to enhance restrictions placed on women’s autonomy, revealing a darker side. Using new data from the India Human Development Survey (N=41,544), I examine the relationship between social capital and women’s autonomy. I argue that households which are well tied into their communities avail themselves to greater scrutiny and thus anticipate and react to the prescriptions of dominant, patriarchal norms. This study employs multivariate logistic and ordinal logistic regression to model the relationship between four measures of women’s autonomy and the social capital of households: 1) wearing a veil; 2) eating order during meals; 3) mobility; 4) and decision making. A male-first eating order and restrictions on mobility are demonstrated to be associated with higher levels of social capital.

  See paper

Presented in Session 42: Economic Growth, Gender, and Intergenerational Relations