Citation

Rhetorics of Empowerment: Building Empire through Self-help Rehabilitation

Abstract | Word Stems | Keywords | Association | Citation | Similar Titles



Abstract:

Recently, NGOs and supranational agencies have spearheaded mircolending development initiatives after the Grameen Bank’s successful “telephone lady” project in Bangladesh, which loaned money directly to entrepreneur women. Since then, microfinance has become the pinnacle program for women’s empowerment in the 3rd world. Global supranational development agencies and NGOs currently have active microfinance initiatives that link wealthy and poor citizens across vast geopolitical and cultural locales.
These initiatives, as I will explore, often draw from liberal feminist terms and concepts such as empowerment, entrepreneurism, advocacy, equity, and choice. Yet, as Inderpal Grewal has suggested, there are unexamined rhetorical and material connections between feminism, consumerism, and notions of (neo)liberal governmentality within global women’s right’s initiatives. This paper examines how these very links can be found within increasingly popular microlending practices that tend to pathologize poor women’s epistemologies and teach self-help and self-management as the precursor to “empowerment.” Self-help borrows from the language of popular psychology and suggests that the poor are not poor due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control, but rather because they need to work on themselves since they do not have the correct mindset to pull themselves out of impoverishment. In addition, as microfinancing practices tend advocate, women are empowered merely by their own tenacity and cleverness to identify community needs and then articulate a workable plan to profit from these needs. Changing behavior (both individual and group) becomes the central way that women from a low-income nation will come out of poverty, and be empowered.
Using the notable example of the World Bank-financed Velugu microlending project in Pakistan, and US-based Kiva microfinance charity, I will demonstrate how global neoliberalism depends up colonial stereotypes that pathologizes women from poor-nations by representing them as lacking self-confidence, choice, or agency. While this Bank project coupled its loan with mandatory weekly empowerment and self-help counseling sessions for those receiving loans, Kiva dictates that those who take their loans must report how the loan changed them personally. These normalizing neoliberal rhetorics of empowerment suggests that if women were more self-aware, if they could feel how they were being empowered, then they are more likely to have the confidence to be out of poverty. This focus on the self and a felt-sense of empowerment interarticulates neocolonial, neoliberal, and feminist ideology into these microfinancing plans and reflects a western notion of the self by connecting self-awareness to rational self-management and uncoupling feelings and the self from broader political and cultural constructs. Kiva’s rhetoric of empowerment as a feeling along with the self-help focus of the Velugu project further supports a neoliberal idea of hyper-self management taught by expert lenders who relate to their client/borrowers in a pedagogic and responsibilizing form. So-called un-empowered women are seen as individuals who are not fully formed because they do not have a sense of self-awareness necessary to become rational self-reliant agents in transglocal capitalism. Ultimately, as this paper shows, the very notion of selfhood and empowerment as sensed becomes a necessary part of normal participation in capitalism.
Convention
All Academic Convention makes running your annual conference simple and cost effective. It is your online solution for abstract management, peer review, and scheduling for your annual meeting or convention.
Submission - Custom fields, multiple submission types, tracks, audio visual, multiple upload formats, automatic conversion to pdf.Review - Peer Review, Bulk reviewer assignment, bulk emails, ranking, z-score statistics, and multiple worksheets!
Reports - Many standard and custom reports generated while you wait. Print programs with participant indexes, event grids, and more!Scheduling - Flexible and convenient grid scheduling within rooms and buildings. Conflict checking and advanced filtering.
Communication - Bulk email tools to help your administrators send reminders and responses. Use form letters, a message center, and much more!Management - Search tools, duplicate people management, editing tools, submission transfers, many tools to manage a variety of conference management headaches!
Click here for more information.

Association:
Name: American Studies Association Annual Meeting
URL:
http://www.theasa.net


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p569626_index.html
Direct Link:
HTML Code:

MLA Citation:

Dingo, Rebecca. "Rhetorics of Empowerment: Building Empire through Self-help Rehabilitation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Caribe Hilton., San Juan, Puerto Rico, <Not Available>. 2014-12-11 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p569626_index.html>

APA Citation:

Dingo, R. "Rhetorics of Empowerment: Building Empire through Self-help Rehabilitation" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association Annual Meeting, Puerto Rico Convention Center and the Caribe Hilton., San Juan, Puerto Rico <Not Available>. 2014-12-11 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p569626_index.html

Publication Type: Internal Paper
Abstract: Recently, NGOs and supranational agencies have spearheaded mircolending development initiatives after the Grameen Bank’s successful “telephone lady” project in Bangladesh, which loaned money directly to entrepreneur women. Since then, microfinance has become the pinnacle program for women’s empowerment in the 3rd world. Global supranational development agencies and NGOs currently have active microfinance initiatives that link wealthy and poor citizens across vast geopolitical and cultural locales.
These initiatives, as I will explore, often draw from liberal feminist terms and concepts such as empowerment, entrepreneurism, advocacy, equity, and choice. Yet, as Inderpal Grewal has suggested, there are unexamined rhetorical and material connections between feminism, consumerism, and notions of (neo)liberal governmentality within global women’s right’s initiatives. This paper examines how these very links can be found within increasingly popular microlending practices that tend to pathologize poor women’s epistemologies and teach self-help and self-management as the precursor to “empowerment.” Self-help borrows from the language of popular psychology and suggests that the poor are not poor due to extenuating circumstances beyond their control, but rather because they need to work on themselves since they do not have the correct mindset to pull themselves out of impoverishment. In addition, as microfinancing practices tend advocate, women are empowered merely by their own tenacity and cleverness to identify community needs and then articulate a workable plan to profit from these needs. Changing behavior (both individual and group) becomes the central way that women from a low-income nation will come out of poverty, and be empowered.
Using the notable example of the World Bank-financed Velugu microlending project in Pakistan, and US-based Kiva microfinance charity, I will demonstrate how global neoliberalism depends up colonial stereotypes that pathologizes women from poor-nations by representing them as lacking self-confidence, choice, or agency. While this Bank project coupled its loan with mandatory weekly empowerment and self-help counseling sessions for those receiving loans, Kiva dictates that those who take their loans must report how the loan changed them personally. These normalizing neoliberal rhetorics of empowerment suggests that if women were more self-aware, if they could feel how they were being empowered, then they are more likely to have the confidence to be out of poverty. This focus on the self and a felt-sense of empowerment interarticulates neocolonial, neoliberal, and feminist ideology into these microfinancing plans and reflects a western notion of the self by connecting self-awareness to rational self-management and uncoupling feelings and the self from broader political and cultural constructs. Kiva’s rhetoric of empowerment as a feeling along with the self-help focus of the Velugu project further supports a neoliberal idea of hyper-self management taught by expert lenders who relate to their client/borrowers in a pedagogic and responsibilizing form. So-called un-empowered women are seen as individuals who are not fully formed because they do not have a sense of self-awareness necessary to become rational self-reliant agents in transglocal capitalism. Ultimately, as this paper shows, the very notion of selfhood and empowerment as sensed becomes a necessary part of normal participation in capitalism.


Similar Titles:
Sacrificing Self Reliance for Concessions: Revisiting the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 as an Empirical Example of Black Self-Help Compromised

Education for job creation: Mapping roles for education to help build self-employment competencies

Rules for Becoming a Graceful Woman: Rhetorical Analysis of the Japanese Self-help Book Grace of Women


 
All Academic, Inc. is your premier source for research and conference management. Visit our website, www.allacademic.com, to see how we can help you today.