Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Gender and Social Capital Mediated Technology Adoption

Bantilan, MCS and Ravula, P and Parthasarathy, D and Gandhi, BVJ (2006): Gender and Social Capital Mediated Technology Adoption. Published in: ICRISAT Impact Series no 12

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Abstract

This study explores gender-differentiated benefits from the social capital buildup in technology uptake, and the decision-making patterns of men and women with respect to production, consumption and household task; and allocation of resources. The background research examined women’s role in developing social capital, and research developed a case study of the groundnut producing areas of Maharashtra in western India, and compared ‘with’ and ‘without’ technology situations, and ‘before’ and ‘after’ situations in relation to the package of groundnut production technology introduced in the region in 1987. The paper addresses three aspects: (1) social networks in technology adoption, (2) the gender-based activity pattern, and (3) build-up of social capital leading to improvements in the welfare of farmers and the farming community with a gender perspective. Available evidence suggests substantial differences in networks of men and women, particularly in composition. The evidence suggests that men belong to more formal networks reflecting their employment or occupation status, while women have more informal networks that are centered on family and kin. Findings show that women who are engaged in agriculture and allied activities develop bonding social capital characterized by strong bonds such as that found among family members or among members of an ethnic group. Men who are engaged in agriculture, on the other hand, develop bridging social capital characterized by weaker, less dense but more crosscutting ties such as with farmers, acquaintances, friends from different ethnic groups and friends of friends. Women’s employment opportunities significantly improved with the introduction of technology. Finally, the study concludes that while technology development and exchange can build upon social capital as a means of empowering women, much more needs to be learned about the approaches that foster build-up of social capital.

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