Working Papers
Andrist, Lester. 2008. “Social Capital's Dark Side and Patriarchy in India.” Presented at the Annual Meetings of the Population Association of America. New Orleans, LA.


Social capital is often extolled as a benevolent resource, but resources can be applied to any number of ends. Using new data from the India Human Development Survey (N=41,544), I examine social capital and patriarchy and demonstrate that social capital works to enhance restrictions placed on women’s autonomy, revealing a darker side. Households which are well tied into their communities avail themselves to greater scrutiny and thus anticipate and react to the prescriptions of dominant, patriarchal norms. This study employs multivariate logistic and ordinal logistic regression to model the relationship between four measures of women’s autonomy and the social capital of households: 1) wearing a veil; 2) eating order during meals; 3) mobility; 4) and decision making. A male-first eating order and restrictions on mobility are demonstrated to be associated with higher levels of social capital.