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Women, Culture, and Development: A Study of Human Capabilities


  • Nussbaum, Martha C.
    (University of Chicago)

  • Glover, Jonathan
    (University of Oxford)


BL Distinguished editors and contributors BL Addresses questions of some urgency for the question of women's quality of life BL Inter-disciplinary, ranging over philosophy, economics, political science, anthropology, law and sociology BL Combines theory with case-studies BL Accessible to non-specialist reader BL Sequel to The Quality of Life, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Amartya Sen, applying the 'capabilities' approach outlined in that volume BL Topical - challenges 'politically correct' relativist approaches and discusses the validity of charges of 'cultural imperialism' levelled at Western aid and intervention policies. Women, a majority of the world's population, receive only a small proportion of its opportunities and benefits. According to the 1993 UN Human Development Report, there is no country in the world in which women's quality of life is equal to that of men. This examination of women's quality of life thus addresses questions which have a particular urgency. It aims to describe the basic situation of all women and so develops a universal account that can answer the charges of 'Western imperialism' frequently made against such accounts. The contributors confront the issue of cultural relativism, criticizing the relativist approach which, in its desire to respect different cultural traditions, can result in indifference to injustice. An account of gender justice and women's equality is then proposed in various areas in which quality of life is measured. These issues are related throughout to the specific contexts of India, Bangladesh, China, Mexico, and Nigeria through a series of case studies. Disciplines represented include philosophy, economics, political science, anthropology, law, and sociology. Like its predecessor, The Quality of Life, this volume encourages the reader to think critically about the central fundamental concepts used in development economics and suggests major criticisms of current economic approaches from that fundamental viewpoint. Note: Contributors: Martha Nussbaum, Marty Chen, Susan Wolf, Jonathan Glover, Onora O'Neill, David Crocker, Hilary Putnam, Linda Alcoff, Amartya Sen, Susan Moller Okin, Ruth Anna Putnam, Cass R.Sunstein, Christine M.Korsgaard, Catherine Lutz, Xiaorong Li, Margarita M.Valdes, Nkiru Nzegwu

Suggested Citation

  • Nussbaum, Martha C. & Glover, Jonathan (ed.), 1995. "Women, Culture, and Development: A Study of Human Capabilities," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198289647.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxp:obooks:9780198289647

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gordon,Robert J., 2004. "Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521531429, March.
    2. Dale W. Jorgenson, 2001. "Information Technology and the U.S. Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 1-32, March.
    3. Gordon,Robert J., 2004. "Productivity Growth, Inflation, and Unemployment," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521800082, March.
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