Tag Archives: Agency

A Framework for Assessing Women’s Economic Empowerment (Published)

Global progress towards gender parity across critical areas of life is still at the disadvantage of women. Women are in a disadvantage position in such areas as the ownership and control over assets, access to affordable credit, social reproduction, to socio-political representation, cultural practices and participation in formal sector of the economy. The consequence of such disparities limits the extent women can exercise choice and make decisions economically, socially, and politically. Therefore, how to flatten the curve and reverse these disparities remains the subject of the subsisting women’s empowerment conundrum about whether others can externally determine empowerment, or if women have to be the agents of their empowerment. What then defines the empowerment framework and understandings of the form that empowerment should take remains debatable. This paper critically reviewed how the empowerment of women has been discussed and conceptualised within development studies, with particular focus on women’s economic empowerment. The paper further looked at issues around women’s empowerment measurement and indicators; identified some frameworks for measuring women’s empowerment. Lastly, the author proposed a conceptual framework within which women’s empowerment might be assessed. To this end, women’s economic empowerment was defined as the extent women exercise control over decisions relating to accessing and use of resources and the resulting household reality.

Keywords: Agency, Empowerment, Nigeria, Women’s Empowerment, economic empowerment framework, indicators

Managing Academic Development in Constrained Contexts: Case Study of a University Satellite Campus in Namibia (Published)

This ethnographic case study explored the challenges besetting academic development (AD) at a satellite campus of a leading university in Namibia. It sought to establish and proffer suggestions on how AD should evolve at the institution, being mindful of any enabling or constraining cultural, structural and agential factors. Three research questions guided the study. The study sample was purposefully selected and comprised the acting head of campus, two Heads of Department, three academic coordinators, the Quality Assurance Coordinator, the student support officer and the Student Counsellor. The findings of the study revealed that this relatively new professional field of academic development has not received the best of receptions by a significantly large portion of academic staff members, including some key agents. The study found that there was a general apathy and reluctance to afford the AD practitioners the space and ‘license’ to exercise their practice.  Based on the forgoing findings, the study recommended that the AD practitioners in the constrained contexts be accorded recognition and support by the key agents in the institution and that innovative interventions be put in place to promote AD processes.

Keywords: Agency, Culture, Structure, academic development, morphogenetic

When Causation Is Manipulation: The Case of Causative GET (Published)

Throughout history, the norm of reciprocity has shaped human psychology, emphasizing the role of cues such as debt, favor, bargain and obligation in governing social relations. Manipulation premises are widely-accepted in analyzing agency theories and decoding mind-control techniques. Awareness of the effectiveness of these manipulative schemes is essential to counter verbal manipulation and isolate the necessary features that make up the manipulative scenario. Such curious use is prevalent in causal discourse, highlighting the intricacy between causation and manipulation. The case of the English verb GET is illustrative of the manipulative meaning which characterizes the causative use of this verb in the International Corpus of English.

Keywords: Agency, Causation, Desirability, Force-dynamics, Manipulation