Beyond the Conventional -A Sociological Criticism of Sen's Capability Approach-

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Arun M. O.

JOURNAL OF ECONOMY CULTURE AND SOCIETY, no.58, pp.229-245, 2018 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/jecs407989
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.229-245
  • Keywords: The capability approach, social justice, sociology, SEN,AMARTYA DEVELOPMENT, JUSTICE
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


The capability approach initially developed by Amartya Sen is a new evaluative framework frequently used by scholars and policy makers who aim to deal with issues related to development, welfare, poverty, social choice theory, inequality and justice. Drawing upon a sociological account of various diversities related to individuals' characteristics and their social/institutional surroundings, the approach criticizes some mainstream political theories of social justice such as the utilitarian, libertarian and Rawlsian models of social justice. Therefore, it is usually addressed as a "sociological turn" within the relevant literature. This work argues that this is not a fully-deserved characteristic since the approach employs a sociologically-informed perspective of various diversities primarily to criticize rival theories of justice, but not to configure the analytical texture of its own authentic proposal that advocates "individuals' ability to achieve what they have reason to value" as the focal point of assessment of social justice.