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Capabilities, culture and social structure

Jackson, W.A. (2005) Capabilities, culture and social structure. Review of Social Economy, 63 (1). pp. 101-124. ISSN 0034-6764

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Sen's capability approach has a culturally specific side, with capabilities influenced by social structures and institutions. Although Sen acknowledges this, he expresses his theory in individualistic terms and makes little allowance for culture or social structure. The present paper draws from recent social theory to discuss how the capability approach could be developed to give an explicit treatment of cultural and structural matters. Capabilities depend not only on entitlements but on institutional roles and personal relations: these can be represented openly if capabilities are disaggregated into individual, social and structural capacities. The three layers interact, and a full analysis of capabilities should consider them all. A stratified method implies that raising entitlements will not on its own be enough to enhance capabilities and that cultural and structural changes will be needed.

Item Type: Article
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Economics and Related Studies (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2009 14:44
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2009 14:44
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00346760500048048
Status: Published
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1080/00346760500048048
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7476

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