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Shame, Humiliation and Social Isolation: Missing Dimensions of Poverty and Suffering Analysis

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  • China Mills, Diego Zavaleta and Kim Samuel

Abstract

While people living in poverty talk about isolation, shame, and humiliation as being key aspects of their lived experiences of suffering, until recently, there has been no international data on these aspects - making them “missing dimensions†within poverty analysis and within research into suffering. Drawing upon international fieldwork and datasets from Chile and Chad, this chapter examines the relevance of social isolation, shame and humiliation in contexts of poverty, to research on suffering. The chapter suggests that the use of particular indicators of shame, humiliation, and social isolation can better recognise distributions of suffering. It can also help identify individuals and sub-groups within those living in multidimensional poverty - or of the general population at large - that are affected by concrete and particularly hurtful situations. Consequently, they can help to identify levels of suffering which are higher within a specific population. We argue that these types of indicators could form the basis of more refined measures that help generate more concise data on suffering.

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  • China Mills, Diego Zavaleta and Kim Samuel, 2014. "Shame, Humiliation and Social Isolation: Missing Dimensions of Poverty and Suffering Analysis," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp071, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:qeh:ophiwp:ophiwp071
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Robert Biswas-Diener & Ed Diener, 2006. "The Subjective Well-Being of the Homeless, and Lessons for Happiness," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 185-205, April.
    2. William Easterly & Jozef Ritzen & Michael Woolcock, 2006. "Social Cohesion, Institutions, And Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 103-120, July.
    3. Sen, Amartya, 1985. "A Sociological Approach to the Measurement of Poverty: A Reply [Poor, Relatively Speaking]," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(4), pages 669-676, December.
    4. Alkire, Sabina & Santos, Maria Emma, 2014. "Measuring Acute Poverty in the Developing World: Robustness and Scope of the Multidimensional Poverty Index," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 251-274.
    5. Diego Zavaleta, Kim Samuel and China Mills, 2014. "Social Isolation: A conceptual and Measurement Proposal," OPHI Working Papers ophiwp067, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.
    6. Graeme Hawthorne, 2006. "Measuring Social Isolation in Older Adults: Development and Initial Validation of the Friendship Scale," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 77(3), pages 521-548, July.
    7. Deepa Narayan & Patti Petesch, 2002. "Voices of the Poor : From Many Lands," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14053, 09-2019.
    8. Deepa Narayan & Robert Chambers & Meera K. Shah & Patti Petesch, 2000. "Voices of the Poor : Crying Out for Change," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13848, 09-2019.
    9. Robert Biswas-Diener & Ed Diener, 2001. "Making the Best of a Bad Situation: Satisfaction in the Slums of Calcutta," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 55(3), pages 329-352, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hoffmann, Nimi & Metz, Thaddeus, 2017. "What Can the Capabilities Approach Learn from an Ubuntu Ethic? A Relational Approach to Development Theory," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 153-164.

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