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5 - A General Theory of Social Economic Stratification

Stigmatization, Exclusion, and Capability Shortfalls

from Part II - Building a Socially Embedded Individual Conception

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 January 2024

John B. Davis
Affiliation:
Marquette University, Wisconsin and Universiteit van Amsterdam
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Summary

Chapter 5 turns to social embeddedness, describes this in terms of two kinds of social identities people have, and explains how a world stratified by social groups produces two kinds of shortfalls in the capability development of people in disadvantaged social groups. First, a microlevel mechanism, social group stigmatization, or social identity stereotyping operates in relational social identity settings, limits stigmatized individuals’ ability to develop their capabilities, and results in what I call capability devaluations. Second, a macro-level process, sorting people over club goods and common pool goods types of social economic locations, produces social group inequalities especially by race/ethnicity and gender, limits lower ranked groups’ capability development, and results in what I call capability deficits. How these two kinds of capability shortfalls combine and reinforce a hierarchical ordering of social groups is explained using a basic complexity theory analysis from Simon. Combatting these two capability shortfalls – motivated by the goal of creating nonhierarchical, democratic societies that promote individuals’ capability development irrespective of social identity – is associated with policies to eliminate social discrimination in the case of capability devaluations and to advance social group reparations in the case of capability deficits.

Type
Chapter
Information
Identity, Capabilities, and Changing Economics
Reflexive, Adaptive, Socially Embedded Individuals
, pp. 109 - 134
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2024

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