Gender and Social Capital Mediated Technology Adoption uri icon

abstract

  • This study explores gender-differentiated benefits from the social capital buildupin technology uptake, and the decision-making patterns of men and womenwith respect to production, consumption and household tasks; and allocation ofresources. The background research examined women?s role in developing socialcapital, and research developed a case study of the groundnut producing areasof Maharashtra in western India, and compared ?with? and ?without? technologysituations, and ?before? and ?after? situations in relation to the package of groundnutproduction technology introduced in the region in 1987. The paper addressesthree aspects: (1) social networks in technology adoption, (2) the gender-basedactivity pattern, and (3) build-up of social capital leading to improvements in thewelfare of farmers and the farming community with a gender perspective.Available evidence suggests substantial differences in networks of men andwomen, particularly in composition. The evidence suggests that men belong tomore formal networks reflecting their employment or occupation status, whilewomen have more informal networks that are centered on family and kin. Findingsshow that women who are engaged in agriculture and allied activities developbonding social capital characterized by strong bonds such as that found amongfamily members or among members of an ethnic group. Men who are engaged inagriculture, on the other hand, develop bridging social capital characterized byweaker, less dense but more crosscutting ties such as with farmers, acquaintances,friends from different ethnic groups and friends of friends. Women?s employmentopportunities significantly improved with the introduction of technology. Finally,the study concludes that while technology development and exchange can buildupon social capital as a means of empowering women, much more needs to belearned about the approaches that foster build-up of social capital

publication date

  • 2006