(Sabbatical Lent Term + Summer Term)
Sohini Kar is a socio-cultural anthropologist focusing on economic anthropology of South Asia, particularly urban India. Her work examines the impact of increasing financialization on poverty and development programs. Dr Kar’s book, Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinancefrom Stanford University Press was awarded the 2020 Bernard Cohn Book Prize sponsored by the Association for Asian Studies. Financializing Poverty ethnographically examines how the emergence of commercial microfinance has allowed financial institutions in the city of Kolkata, India, to capitalize on the poverty of its residents. In addition to her work on microfinance, Dr Kar has written about women in finance, and on India’s financial inclusion policy, and its relation to social welfare programmes. She is currently working on financial activism and its impact on development goals.
Prior to joining LSE, Dr Kar held a postdoctoral position as Harvard College Fellow in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University between 2013-14. She holds an MA and PhD in Anthropology from Brown University, an MA in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and a BA in Economics and French from Columbia University.
- 2018. Financializing Poverty: Labor and Risk in Indian Microfinance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
- Forthcoming Schuster, Caroline and Sohini Kar. Subprime Empire: On the Inbetweeness of Finance. Current Anthropology.
- 2018. Kar, Sohini. ‘Securitizing Women: Gender, Precaution, and Risk in Indian Finance.’ Signs: Journal of Women in Culture & Society, 43(2): 301-325.
- 2017. Kar, Sohini. ‘Austerity Welfare: Social Security in the Era of Finance.’ Anthropology Today, 33(5), 12-15.
- 2017. Kar, Sohini. ‘Relative Indemnity: Risk, Insurance, and Kinship in Indian Microfinance.’ Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute, 23(2), 302-319.
- 2016. Kar, Sohini and Caroline Schuster. ‘Comparative Projects and the Limits of Choice: Ethnography and Microfinance in India and Paraguay.’ Journal of Cultural Economy. 9(4), 347-363.
- 2013. Kar, Sohini. ‘Recovering Debts: Microfinance Loan Officers and the Work of “Proxy-Creditors” in India.’ American Ethnologist, 40(3), 480-493.
- 2020. Accumulation by Saturation: Welfare and Financial Inclusion in India. In Don Kalb and Chris Hann (eds.) Financialization: Relational Approaches. New York & Oxford: Berghahn Books.