Poverty and capabilities: the case of Samsun

Şavlı, Zeynep Tuğba
The thesis aims at looking closer to the capabilities of poor people as it elaborates on which and to what extent do poor people have capabilities, as well as individual and structural factors preventing improvement of these basic capabilities among poor people in the framework of the city of Samsun. By this way, contributing to the formation of an effective development policy which can increase the capabilities of poor people in Turkey is planned. To operationalize and measure the capabilities, twelve capabilities with different indicators have been investigated under the sections of structural capabilities and social and psychological capabilities. Face to face interviews with 29 social assistance recipients and a focus group meeting with disabled people have been done within this framework. The findings of the study support that besides income shortage, poor people experience important capability deprivations in Turkey. People’s abilities to convert income into capabilities change greatly according to their personal heterogeneities like gender, age, health, disability etc. over which people has no control. In this context, identification basic capabilities, and fertile capabilities as well as clustered disadvantages and barriers to enhancements of capabilities is crucial. In this framework, this thesis supports that 3 important capabilities come forth to have eminent instrumental roles in improving other capabilities of people and thus act as a leverage to diminish capability deprivations which are education, employment and access to social assistance and these should be further supported by state to achieve the goal of human development.