Poverty, Aspirations and Well-Being: Afraid to Aspire and Unable to Reach a Better Life – Voices from Egypt

23 Pages Posted: 26 Jan 2011 Last revised: 20 Apr 2011

See all articles by Solava Ibrahim

Solava Ibrahim

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: January 25, 2011

Abstract

Poverty is usually associated with powerlessness, vulnerability and above all failure of aspirations. Poor people might not be able to achieve their capabilities, but this does not mean that they do not have aspirations they wish to fulfil. The concept of aspirations has been explored in the fields of economics, anthropology, psychology and philosophy, but not extensively in development studies. The aim of the paper is to present a conceptual framework for analysing aspirations based on the capability approach and to apply a new methodology to articulate these aspirations. Using Egypt as a case study, the voices of the poor reveal the interrelationships between failure of aspirations, which not only leads to a downward spiral, but also to an intergenerational transfer of aspirations’ failure. The paper concludes that identifying and addressing the causal relationship between poverty, aspirations and well-being could be the starting point for effective and more relevant development policies that help poor people to achieve their aspired but unfulfilled capabilities.

Keywords: Aspirations, Poverty, Well-Being

Suggested Citation

Ibrahim, Solava, Poverty, Aspirations and Well-Being: Afraid to Aspire and Unable to Reach a Better Life – Voices from Egypt (January 25, 2011). Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper No. 141. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1747798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1747798

Solava Ibrahim (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
339
Abstract Views
1,164
rank
89,682
PlumX Metrics