Expanding horizons: Can women's support groups diversify peer networks in rural India?

Eeshani Kandpal, Kathy Baylis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Montgomery and Casterline distinguish between two key effects of social networks: information and influence. In both cases, homophily-induced homogeneous networks may limit the network's ability to affect social norms or at least delay the process, since information and social norms are likely already common to the network, and may well presumably be reinforced instead of challenged by network connections. In India, in particular, the hierarchical structure imposed by the caste system means that peer networks are often restricted by caste. These constraints can potentially limit women's interactions to a small subset of the community. Uttarakhand is in the Indian Himalayas; villages tend to be remote and are often without basic infrastructural facilities, like government schools and hospitals. Small, scattered villages without access to roads conspire to limit the diversity of social contact. Most villages are remote and many lack basic infrastructure such as schools and hospitals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-367
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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