Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Social Networks and Decision Making: Women’s Participation in Household Decisions

Kannan, Srinivasan (2009): Social Networks and Decision Making: Women’s Participation in Household Decisions.

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Decision making is always been an important in social setting. For understanding the process of decision making it is important to understand as to how people make decisions and the factors influence the decisions. Studies (Srinivasan and Sharan 2005, Pescosolido, 1992) show that decisions are not made in isolation but they are the products of influence and confluence of social correlates. These studies emphasize that the decisions are not made in isolation but in consultation with other members. This raises an important question of how individual’s choices no longer of his or her own but socially constructed. This emphasizes how individuals consult with others while making decisions. From this it clear that the matters relating to health are also decided in consultation with the other members of the community. From this we can understand how decision making is important in a family setting for an individual. Literatures on social network (Srinivasan and Sharan 2005) have suggested the importance of social interaction on health decisions. They also suggest social networks help the individuals to learn to handle problematic situations. In National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3)(2005-06), under “Women’s empowerment and demographic and health outcomes” discussed the importance of wife’s participation in household decision making. According to NFHS-3, it is important to study the above aspect which will help in understanding the status and empowerment of women in society and within their households. It is thus critical to promote change in reproductive behaviour. This reminds the importance of Social Network by Bott(1957).According Bott Social Network is conjugal role relationships. According to her the degree of segregation in the role relationship of husband and wife varies directly with the connectedness of the family’s social network. The more connected the network, the greater the degree of segregation between the roles of husband and wife and vice versa.

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