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Author Peters, Beverly Lynn
Title Savings and credit societies in the rural areas of South Africa: Gender and socioeconomic dynamics in two Vha Venda villages
book jacket
Descript 400 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 60-05, Section: A, page: 1647
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Pittsburgh, 1999
Several types of savings and credit societies operate in the former Venda homeland of South Africa. Operating under mechanisms of redistribution, reciprocity, and exchange, savings and credit associations are known as societies among the VhaVenda. Using ethnographic field methods, this endeavor investigates the operations of savings and credit societies in two villages in the former Venda homeland---the Andani and Dembe villages---in order to provide implications for rural development policy
In Andani and Dembe, men often join burial societies on behalf of their households. Women tend to dominate membership in other types of savings and credit societies, however. Women in Andani and Dembe use savings and credit societies to support their households, purchasing foodstuffs, bricks, or furniture, or to pay school or university fees for their children
Women additionally use membership in savings and credit societies in Andani and Dembe to exercise control over income in the household and village. Gender perceptions, conceptualized by the VhaVenda concept of "womanism," dictate that women do not threaten male authority structures in the household and community. Consequently, women use powers of suggestion, veto, and protest to exercise authority in the village. Likewise, women use savings and credit associations to support the household and maintain control over their own income and gain access to the income of men while not threatening perceived male authority in the household and village
The significance of this study lies in its implications for future rural development policy in villages such as Andani and Dembe. Such policies may have both savings and loan functions, and may operate on an individual or group basis. On the surface level, the use of savings and credit societies in development projects seems a viable and positive option given the continued operation and success of the associations in supporting households in villages such as Andani and Dembe. However, any policy which uses the associations as conduits for development programs and policies must take into consideration the original purposes for which the associations operate, in addition to the ways that women use the associations to gain and maintain control over income
School code: 0178
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 60-05A
Subject Anthropology, Cultural
History, African
Economics, Finance
Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Alt Author University of Pittsburgh
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