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By Gunnar Myrdal

Asian Drama, An Inquiry Into The Poverty of countries Volumes I, II and III (Volumes I, II and III)

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Extra info for Asian Drama: An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations

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He distinguishes capabilities – the basic capacities which people need to have in order to function – from commodities and characteristics, which are the means through which these needs are interpreted or operationalized. A bicycle, for example, is a commodity. One of its principal characteristics is transportation. The capability which it offers is the ability to move about. ‘The transportation characteristic of the bike gives the person the capability of moving in a certain way’ (Sen : ).

Lewis summarized some of the major characteristics as follows: On the family level, the major traits of the culture of poverty are the absence of childhood as a specially prolonged and protected stage in the life cycle, early initiation into sex, free unions or consensual marriages, a relatively high incidence of the abandonment of wives and children, a trend toward female- or mother-centred families … a strong disposition to authoritarianism, lack of privacy, verbal emphasis on family solidarity which is only rarely achieved because of sibling rivalry, and competition for limited goods and maternal affection.

However, a number of studies in Brazil in the s produced different estimates of the amount of poverty. The differences were largely due to the discrepancies in the income estimates available from the three main data sources: the National Census, the National Accounts, and the National Survey of Homesteads. The large discrepancies in the data (over  per cent) were mainly due to the omission of non-monetary income, which made up a third of rural income in the s (Rios ). The most widely used definition of poverty in Brazil during the s and s was those families earning two minimum salaries or less.

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