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?