Chapter

Class, Gender and Other Groups

Amartya Sen

in Inequality Reexamined

Published in print September 1995 | ISBN: 9780198289289
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596896 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0198289286.003.0009
 Class, Gender and Other Groups

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The relevance of the capability perspective is discussed in the context of differences in class, gender, and other social features. Human diversity is shown, once again, to play a crucial part in strengthening the significance of the informational departure in moving from the spaces of incomes, opportunities, happiness, primary goods, etc. to taking direct note of the achievement of functionings and the capability to achieve them. The capability perspective is more sensitive than utility‐based approaches to problems of entrenched deprivation, which can lead to defensive adjustment of desires and expectations (thereby distorting the metric of utilities). It can also be fairer in dealing directly with freedoms rather than concentrating on the means of freedoms. These differences are significant in assessing inequality and injustice across the barriers of class, gender, and other social divisions.

Keywords: achievement; capability; class; deprivation; equality; freedom; functionings; gender; human diversity; income; inequality; injustice; justice; space

Chapter.  5688 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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