Danish Master’s Thesis tracks the Sociology of Global Microfinance

Last week, two Danish sociology students, Anders Ludvig Sevelsted and Lasse Folke Henriksen, defended their thesis on what you could call a sociology of global microfinance. By looking at the role of professional economists in global microfinance, they show (among other things) that economics as an academic discipline anchored in the North/West has played a profound role in the development of microfinance globally, not least the focus on financial sustainability and the decision of the World Bank to endorse and promote microfinance through CGAP. I had the pleasure of serving as a secondary adviser, and am glad to see that besides the conclusions in the thesis, the work also prove by its example that there is a great unfulfilled need for sociologists in microfinance.

If they read this post, they perhaps want to answer a couple of questions :- )

1) Given the conclusions in your thesis, what should microfinance practitioners do differently?

2) What other questions have you come across that would be interesting for sociologists to look at in microfinance?


8 Responses to Danish Master’s Thesis tracks the Sociology of Global Microfinance

  1. Espen says:

    It sounds like a really interesting Thesis and I would love to read up on it, do you know if they plan to publish?

  2. Alberte says:

    Where can I find this thesis ??

  3. Ole Dahl Rasmussen says:

    I’m not sure if they plan to publish – let me ask. As for the thesis, I have passed on your information to the authors. I hope they’ll get back to you.

  4. Anders says:

    Hi Espen and Alberte

    I can mail you our thesis, if I can get your email adresses. It is really a ‘sociololgy of science’ study, that tracks the role of economists in the making of a global microcredit market. So it’s not mainly aimed at practitioners, but rather a way of trying to show which global dynamics are at work, when a market for microcredit is formed.

    Maybe this also partly answers Ole’s first question. In regard to the second question, I personally think that the most interesting from af sociology of science point of view is how local culture clashes and merges with the dynamics of MFI’s that are part of a global system shaped by noeclassical economists. How this ‘merge’ takes place in the villages as part of the attempt to fight poverty locally is a problem I would have liked to explore more in the thesis, had we had the time.

    My email is: zipko [at] hotmail [dot] com

    I’ll be happy to send you the thesis and answer any questions you may have


  5. Ravi says:

    Hi Anders

    I am a student at CBS and find this subject very interesting. Would it be possible to send me a copy of your thesis?


  6. reeti says:


    I was searching the web for some links on the sociological perspectives of microfinance. Would it be possible to read your thesis?

    Anders, I have also tried sending you an email on the above mentioned email address (zipko@hotmail.com).

    Thanks for all the help.

    (Delhi, India)

  7. chintamani prasad says:

    I am doing my phd in microfinance kindly guide me

  8. Naman Joshi says:

    I am working on Microfinance and it’s impact in Society and came across this page. Could you please send me your thesis for reading. My email address is namanjoshi@gmail.com.


    Naman Joshi
    (Delhi, India)

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