Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power, and Violence in the Black Americas

Politicized Microfinance: Money, Power, and Violence in the Black Americas

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By Caroline Shenaz Hossein
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2016
World Rights
240 Pages 2 Images
ISBN 9781442616240
Published Jun 2016
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ISBN 9781442648203
Published Jun 2016
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442616608
Published Aug 2016
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When Grameen Bank was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006, microfinance was lauded as an important contributor to the economic development of the Global South. However, political scandals, mission-drift, and excessive commercialization have tarnished this example of responsible or inclusive financial development. Politicized Microfinance insightfully discusses exclusion while providing a path towards redemption.

In this work, Caroline Shenaz Hossein explores the politics, histories and social prejudices that have shaped the legacy of microbanking in Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad. Writing from a feminist perspective, Hossein’s analysis is rooted in original qualitative data and offers multiple solutions that prioritize the needs of marginalized and historically oppressed people of African descent.

A must read for scholars of political economy, diaspora studies, social economy, women’s studies, as well as development practitioners, Politicized Microfinance convincingly deftly argues for microfinance to return to its origins as a political tool, fighting for those living in the margins.

Caroline Shenaz Hossein is an assistant professor in the Department of Social Science as well as a member of the Centre for Feminist Research and the Harriet Tubman Institute for Research on Africa and its Diasporas at York University.

List of Figures and Tables 






Chapter 1: Microfinance and Black People 

Chapter 2: Contextualizing Microfinance in Jamaica, Guyana, and Haiti 

Chapter 3: Cultural Politics, Bias, and Microfinance 

Chapter 4: Violence against Borrowers and Lenders in Microfinance 

Chapter 5: Alternative Banking among the African Diaspora 

Chapter 6: Banking on Indigenous Systems 

Appendix: Description of Slums in the Study 





“No one else has studied the opportunities and constraints in access to microcredit based on the intersectional identities of race, ethnicity, and gender. Caroline Shenaz Hossein’s original and important findings are a major contribution to research on microcredit.”

Bipasha Baruah, Canada Research Chair in Global Women’s Issues, Western University

Politicized Microfinance is a very interesting and pioneering study of a typically under-researched and underdeveloped issue in the Caribbean experience. Caroline Shenaz Hossein utilizes the appropriate combination of quantitative data and insightful qualitative interpretations and analysis.”

Perry Mars, Professor Emeritus, African American Studies, Wayne State University

“Caroline Shenaz Hossein provides an innovative analysis that explores the importance of partisan, identity, and sexual politics in micro-lending. Politicized Microfinance is exciting, multilayered and long overdue scholarship that deepens our understanding of micro-financing and the micro-enterprise industry, particularly along race, gender, class and cultural dimensions.”

Jessica Gordon Nembhard, Professor, Department of Africana Studies, John Jay College CUNY

‘This work is a valuable contribution toward painting a more realistic picture of how bias affects lending.’

B. B. Andrew, Choice Magazine vol 54:06:2017

Politicized Microfinance is a timely and empirically rich book. It will be of interest to readers interested in microfinance and alternative finance and in social economy and alternative economies more broadly.’

Nick Bernards, Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography September 2016