The neo-liberal conception of empowerment and its limits

  • Through qualitative research conducted in the bazaars of Bishkek, this paper examines the posited tripartite relationship between the free market, micro-finance and women's empowerment by focusing on how loans from micro-finance institutions in Bishkek influence the lives of female loanees. The neo-liberal conception of 'individual autonomy' and 'empowerment', it is argued, may not adequately serve as indicators of actual female empowerment/disempowerment in Bishkek and lead us to fail to recognize moments of self-exploitation and forms of claim-making. The research also underlines the disempowering effects of the affectional burden, that is, the constant sense of anxiety, that the loanees have to manage in order to survive in the neo-liberal business environment, which offers high interest rate loans and exposes the loanees to over-indebtedness. These effects can be followed through the analysis of the role the desire for stability and 'ontological security' plays in the formation of the identities/world views of the loanees.

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Author details:Gözde Yazıcı CörütORCiDGND, İlker CörütORCiDGND
Title of parent work (English):Central Asian survey
Subtitle (English):micro-credit experiences of self-employed women in the bazaars of Bishkek
Publisher:Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
Place of publishing:Abingdon
Publication type:Article
Date of first publication:2021/01/14
Publication year:2021
Release date:2023/03/17
Tag:Kyrgyzstan; debt; micro-credit; neo-liberalism; self-employed women; women's empowerment
Number of pages:20
First page:118
Last Page:137
Funding institution:USAIDUnited States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften / Fachgruppe Soziologie
DDC classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Peer review:Referiert
Publishing method:Open Access / Hybrid Open-Access
License (German):License LogoCC-BY-NC-ND - Namensnennung, nicht kommerziell, keine Bearbeitungen 4.0 International
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