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Absolute Poverty in EuropeInterdisciplinary Perspectives on a Hidden Phenomenon$
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Helmut Gaisbauer, Gottfried Schweiger, and Clemens Sedmak

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781447341284

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447341284.001.0001

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Measuring absolute poverty: shame is all you need

Measuring absolute poverty: shame is all you need

Chapter:
(p.97) 5 Measuring absolute poverty: shame is all you need
Source:
Absolute Poverty in Europe
Author(s):

Robert Walker

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447341284.003.0005

As a heuristic polemic, it is proposed that, while poverty is objective, multidimensional and inherently relative, it should be quantified using a single, absolute and subjective measure: namely, poverty-related shame. The concepts of poverty and absolute poverty is first interrogated before, following Amartya Sen, arguing that shame is an absolutely essential component of poverty and, moreover, that poverty-related shame offers a measure of poverty that is universal in the sense that it is evidenced in all countries irrespective of their level of economic development. Manifestations of poverty-related shame are then considered before exploring its potential value as a universal measure of poverty. Its universality is considered with respect to conceptual, functional, metric and political equivalence.

Keywords:   poverty, shame, measurement, equivalence

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