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Poverty as capability deprivation: conceptualising and measuring poverty in contemporary Europe

Hick, Rod ORCID: 2014. Poverty as capability deprivation: conceptualising and measuring poverty in contemporary Europe. Archives Europeennes de Sociologie European Journal of Sociology Europaisches Archiv fur Soziologie 55 (3) , pp. 295-323. 10.1017/S0003975614000150

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Poverty analysis is in the midst of a multidimensional “turn” due, in part, to the growing awareness of the limitations of relative income measures of poverty. In this paper, we argue that the conceptualisation of poverty remains a neglected aspect of this multidimensional turn to date, and demonstrate that the counter-intuitive results which flow from relative income analyses are not problems of measurement, but are entirely consistent with the conceptualisation of poverty under Peter Townsend’s dominant Poverty as Relative Deprivation framework. In response to these problems we articulate an alternative framework, Poverty as Capability Deprivation, drawing on Amartya Sen’s capability approach, and argue that this provides more persuasive explanations as to why some nations have greater poverty than others and why poverty remains a problem even in the richest nations.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Uncontrolled Keywords: Capability; Deprivation; Poverty; Amartya Sen; Peter Townsend
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISSN: 0003-9756
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 16 June 2014
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 23:06

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