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THE BLACK SOCIAL ECONOMY: PERSEVERANCE OF BANKER LADIES IN THE SLUMS

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ABSTRACT

In a neoliberal world where commercial financial services are controlled by elites, poor Black women in the slums are usually excluded from financial programs – even microfinance ones. In my empirical study of 491 people in Jamaica, Guyana and Haiti, I argue that the participation in informal banking systems by the poor, not only provides coping tools for livelihood survival, but banker ladies insert a program of social connectedness and political action when they organize these local resources. Banker ladies have a clear social justice agenda: to validate the business activities of marginalized people. Informal banks are a counter project to neoliberalism because it is focused on the collective, where poor Afro‐Caribbean women are creating alternative financial programs that are squarely part of the social economy.
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Language: English

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2013

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