English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: The Meaning of Poverty: Questions of Distribution and Power Arthur Macewan

User activity

Share to:
 
Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/199676
Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • The Meaning of Poverty: Questions of Distribution and Power
Author
  • Arthur Macewan
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • Focusing on the low-income parts of the world and reviewing the different ways we can define poverty, I first argue that what people generally mean by poverty – or, more broadly, by economic well-being – cannot be adequately captured by a single, absolute measure such as income level or a more complex aggregate such as the Human Development Index. Not only do these measures fail to account for the complexity of human material needs, but they also fail to recognize the importance of distributional issues. The failure to incorporate a consideration of distribution in defining poverty is conceptually problematic, if not simply wrong. This failure also creates serious practical problems for campaigns against poverty, at best limiting their impact and at worst dooming them to failure. The United Nations Millennium Goals program is a case in point. If poverty is viewed simply in absolute terms rather than including a consideration of distributional issues, the social structures that generate poverty tend to be ignored. Policy is then viewed as a technical issue and often focuses on particular programs that are directed to helping the poor improve their absolute situation: new seed varieties to raise income, mosquito nets treated with insecticide to improve health, more schools to raise the level of education. These sorts of policies, when they are actually implemented successfully, can have positive impacts. Yet they leave unexamined and unaddressed the social structures and power relations that have generated and continue to generate poverty.
  • poverty, income distribution, power, Millennium Development Goals, Human Devleopment Index
  • RePEc:uma:periwp:wp148
  • Focusing on the low-income parts of the world and reviewing the different ways we can define poverty, I first argue that what people generally mean by poverty – or, more broadly, by economic well-being – cannot be adequately captured by a single, absolute measure such as income level or a more complex aggregate such as the Human Development Index. Not only do these measures fail to account for the complexity of human material needs, but they also fail to recognize the importance of distributional issues. The failure to incorporate a consideration of distribution in defining poverty (or, more generally, economic well-being) is conceptually problematic, if not simply wrong. This failure also creates serious practical problems for campaigns against poverty, at best limiting their impact and at worst dooming them to failure. The United Nations Millennium Goals program is a case in point. If poverty is viewed simply in absolute terms rather than including a consideration of distributional issues, the social structures that generate poverty tend to be ignored. Policy is then viewed as a technical issue and often focuses on particular programs that are directed to helping the poor improve their absolute situation: new seed varieties to raise income, mosquito nets treated with insecticide to improve health, more schools to raise the level of education. These sorts of policies, when they are actually implemented successfully, can have positive impacts. Yet they leave unexamined and unaddressed the social structures, the power relations, that have generated and continue to generate poverty.
  • Ipoverty, income distribution, power, Millennium Development Goals,Human Development Index
  • RePEc:mab:wpaper:9
Language
  • English
Contributed by
OAIster

Get this edition

  • Set up My libraries

    How do I set up "My libraries"?

    In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to, you must first login or sign up. Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.

  • All (1)
  • Unknown (1)
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.

User activity


e.g. test cricket, Perth (WA), "Parkes, Henry"

Separate different tags with a comma. To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes.

Be the first to add a tag for this edition

Be the first to add this to a list

Comments and reviews

What are comments? Add a comment

No user comments or reviews for this version

Add a comment