Gendered patterning of relationships: Insights from reproductive health networks in Bangladesh

B. Bhatia, F. Salignac

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Social capital has become a general tool for policy interventions in developing countries – often put forward as empowering and improving women’s socioeconomic position. Using the framework of gendered manifestations of networks in patriarchal setting of Bangladesh, the authors argue that while networks are crucial building blocks of social capital they are bound to manifest differently depending on the context in which they are embedded. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

    Design/methodology/approach: By combining methods of social networks and spatial analysis, this study provides insights into the embeddedness of networks in gender norms. The authors conduct the study in the context of reproductive health networks in rural Bangladesh.

    Findings: The findings suggest that networks mirror the structure of the society in which they evolve, reproducing rather than challenging disadvantage.

    Research limitations/implications: The authors call for a more nuanced view of social capital leading to policy design that is sensitive to different manifestations of networks.

    Originality/value: This study is the first to combine novel methods of social networks and spatial analysis to quantify the complex interplay between social networks and gender norms. This study further contributes to the diffusion literature by providing the first comparative view of women’s and men’s reproductive health networks that extend beyond actors’ direct tie. © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)360-377
    Number of pages18
    JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
    Issue number5-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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