(Micro)Financing to Give: Kiva as a Gift-Market Hybrid

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Purpose - The purpose of the chapter is to engage with the relationship between the gift and the market in the context of philanthropic microlending. We seek to move beyond theorizing separate, ex-ante gift or market regimes and transactors who independently navigate between oppositional modes of transaction. Methodology/approach - We turn to recent efforts of hybridizing charity and venture finance, exemplified by microfinance platforms such as Kiva.org. We combine data from an existing study of Kiva and its online community, with additional participant observation and third-party accounts detailing the evolution and workings of microfinance. Findings - We illustrate how market-like elements are productively and problematically deployed in philanthropic giving and address the need to consider a broader range of socio-material relations involved in the framing of transactions. Research limitations/implications - A complex network of actors and (trans)actions needs to be assembled for the philanthropic loan to be enacted. We touch upon the making and role of the socio-material

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationConsumer Culture Theory : Consumer Culture Theory
EditorsRussell W. Belk, Linda Price, Lisa Peñaloza
Number of pages15
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Publication dateDec 2013
ISBN (Print)978-1-78190-810-5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-78190-811-2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
SeriesResearch in Consumer Behavior


  • Charity
  • Gift-market dualism
  • Lending
  • Microfinance
  • Philanthropy
  • Poverty


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