By Vijayendra Rao, Michael Walton
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Additional info for Culture and Public Action
The better oﬀ you are . . ”Voice and the capacity to aspire are “reciprocally linked,” with each accelerating the nurture of the other. ” For an economist, one way of understanding Appadurai’s concepts is to incorporate the Becker-Stigler “opportunity cost” approach to preference change within anthropological understandings that emphasize the collective aspects of preference formation. qxd 3/30/2004 2:58 PM Page 25 Culture and Public Action 25 poverty, social interactions are geared toward survival and interactions within one’s own group.
But because cultural and social capital are inherently relational concepts, these require group-based interventions, along the lines sketched above, that are diﬀerent from the more individual-based interventions that derive from the equality of opportunity perspective. The normative implication of this discussion can now be pulled together. Greater equality of agency is a desirable, and often a necessary condition, for putting societies on a dynamic path toward greater equality of well-being. This is also likely to have at least neutral, and potentially positive, eﬀects on processes of accumulation.
The nondiscrimination interpretation. This view acknowledges that individuals may have a social identity and that discrimination can result from the use of demographic characteristics as social markers, with the result that an individual of equal or superior qualiﬁcations and ability to another may be passed over because of his or her race, gender, or other group-based attribute. A cultural lens, however, suggests that this is an incomplete way of dealing with the relational aspects of deprivation.
Culture and Public Action by Vijayendra Rao, Michael Walton