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ERIC Number: EJ813579
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0303-8300
An Anthropology of "The Good Life" in the Bolivian Plateau
Calestani, Melania
Social Indicators Research, v90 n1 p141-153 Jan 2009
This paper addresses my understanding of well-being as harmonious relations in the city of El Alto, Bolivia. My approach shows the complexity of issues emerging when dealing with social relations. First of all, I analyse a specific case study showing the moral obligation involved among household members. Then I attempt to provide an insight into other aspects of social life to realise that the same degree of moral duty can be found when people participate in religious festivities or social protests. Collaboration, unity and co-operation often coexist with conflicts and moral obligation. The paper argues that this picture of complex coexistence is rather different from the substantive freedom described by Sen ("Development as freedom." Oxford University Press, 1999) in his capability approach. By taking Sen's theoretical framework as a point of departure for this investigation, it aims to emphasise the value of ethnography and other qualitative methods to the study of well-being. In the field of well-being, social interaction may greatly affect people's capabilities to choose the lives they have reason to value, obliging them to follow certain models based on shared values and preferences. The paper contributes to debates on this specific issue, trying to shed light on the picture emerging when engaging with ethnographic research.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Bolivia