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Everyday Sectarianism in Urban LebanonInfrastructures, Public Services, and Power$
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Joanne Randa Nucho

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691168968

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691168968.001.0001

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From Shirkets to Bankas

From Shirkets to Bankas

Credit, Lending, and the Narrowing of Networks

(p.94) Chapter 4 From Shirkets to Bankas
Everyday Sectarianism in Urban Lebanon

Joanne Randa Nucho

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that in Lebanon, economic networks of credit and lending can further contribute to the production of sectarianism as well as the narrowing of the definition of who can be an adequate member of the sectarian “community.” It discusses women's rotating credit associations or shirkets and the rise of a microlending facility that sought to formalize and contain these practices under the more centralized control of an official, Armenian-run organization. The desire to control or replace the shirket practices can be traced back to political actors' long-standing fear of women's informal networks as a potential site of crosscutting relationships that defy narrow sectarian logics of social relations and are therefore threatening to the sectarian social order.

Keywords:   Bourj Hammoud, lending, credit, Lebanon, sectarianism, rotating credit associations, shirkets, microlending, economic networks

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