In “Development as Freedom”, Amartya Sen affirms that we may not notice the protective power of democracy in giving people the chance to express their capabilities until a particular problem arises. However, when things go wrong the absence of a system that provides justice for everybody can loom extremely large and put a considerable strain on people’s lives (Sen, 1999). In this paper we set out to analyze the extent to which the absence of what Sen defines a “system of justice” plus a fair and equitable allotment as well as distribution of resources can affects people’s well-being. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009) have made a remarkable case on this account when they showed that in most developed Countries across the world an unfair distribution of the richness, which is mainly expressed by the gap that separates the rich from the poor, wreaks havoc on people’s well-being However, the connection between justice, equity and well-being has been, despite many evidences such as the one just mentioned, largely overlooked so far. In terms of well-being, researchers rarely, if ever, invoke justice and the equitable allotment and distribution of resources in their explanations. In most cases, culture, age, marriage, social support, unemployment and adaptation figure prominently on the list of well-being predictors (e.g. Fredrickson 2009; Lyubomirsky 2008; Seligman 2002, 2011). And yet, although it might be true that some people, endowed with intelligence and empathy, can, with appropriate support, overcome adversity, they remain nonetheless a minority (Prilleltensky, Nelson & Peirson, 2001). For the vast majority of those who face oppression and injustice, however, life becomes a constant struggle (Nelson & Prilleltensky, 2010), which is why it is so surprising that psychologists have not yet explored in depth the connection between fairness and wellness. As we are well aware of, this is not the case in other disciplines such as political economy (Sen 2009), and political philosophy (Nussbaum 2006). This is the reason why, in this paper, we will refer both to the Capabilities Approach and Community Psychology Approach. Specifically, by integrating Amartya Sen’s and Marta Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach with the Ecological model proposed by Isaac Prilleltensky, we hold that individuals, groups, communities and society at large are all deeply intertwined with one another; hence, individual and social well-being are intrinsically linked with the promotion and achievement of underlying human necessities, such as freedom, equity, environmental respect, equality, and social justice for everyone. In fact, consistent with Isaac Prilleltensky’s ecological vision, well-being is understood as a positive state of affairs brought about by the simultaneous and balanced satisfaction of diverse objective and subjective needs of individuals, relationships, organizations and communities (Prilleltensky, 2012). Thus, we ground our discussion on a novel vision of well-being that is a multi-faceted and complex construct linked to manifold levels of analysis (Arcidiacono, 2013; Di Martino 2013). The vision we set out to propose shows a new understanding of this phenomenon, which is not merely the outcome of personal efforts and achievements but is also the fruit of the interrelations between numerous other factors, (equity and justice being at the top of them) which have thus far seldom been connected to this concept. 

The Capability Approach and Community Psychology in the Pursuit of Well-Being as Justice and Equity.
The Role of Non Profit Sector

ARCIDIACONO, CATERINA;DI MARTINO, SALVATORE;D'ISANTO, Federica
2014

Abstract

In “Development as Freedom”, Amartya Sen affirms that we may not notice the protective power of democracy in giving people the chance to express their capabilities until a particular problem arises. However, when things go wrong the absence of a system that provides justice for everybody can loom extremely large and put a considerable strain on people’s lives (Sen, 1999). In this paper we set out to analyze the extent to which the absence of what Sen defines a “system of justice” plus a fair and equitable allotment as well as distribution of resources can affects people’s well-being. Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009) have made a remarkable case on this account when they showed that in most developed Countries across the world an unfair distribution of the richness, which is mainly expressed by the gap that separates the rich from the poor, wreaks havoc on people’s well-being However, the connection between justice, equity and well-being has been, despite many evidences such as the one just mentioned, largely overlooked so far. In terms of well-being, researchers rarely, if ever, invoke justice and the equitable allotment and distribution of resources in their explanations. In most cases, culture, age, marriage, social support, unemployment and adaptation figure prominently on the list of well-being predictors (e.g. Fredrickson 2009; Lyubomirsky 2008; Seligman 2002, 2011). And yet, although it might be true that some people, endowed with intelligence and empathy, can, with appropriate support, overcome adversity, they remain nonetheless a minority (Prilleltensky, Nelson & Peirson, 2001). For the vast majority of those who face oppression and injustice, however, life becomes a constant struggle (Nelson & Prilleltensky, 2010), which is why it is so surprising that psychologists have not yet explored in depth the connection between fairness and wellness. As we are well aware of, this is not the case in other disciplines such as political economy (Sen 2009), and political philosophy (Nussbaum 2006). This is the reason why, in this paper, we will refer both to the Capabilities Approach and Community Psychology Approach. Specifically, by integrating Amartya Sen’s and Marta Nussbaum’s Capabilities Approach with the Ecological model proposed by Isaac Prilleltensky, we hold that individuals, groups, communities and society at large are all deeply intertwined with one another; hence, individual and social well-being are intrinsically linked with the promotion and achievement of underlying human necessities, such as freedom, equity, environmental respect, equality, and social justice for everyone. In fact, consistent with Isaac Prilleltensky’s ecological vision, well-being is understood as a positive state of affairs brought about by the simultaneous and balanced satisfaction of diverse objective and subjective needs of individuals, relationships, organizations and communities (Prilleltensky, 2012). Thus, we ground our discussion on a novel vision of well-being that is a multi-faceted and complex construct linked to manifold levels of analysis (Arcidiacono, 2013; Di Martino 2013). The vision we set out to propose shows a new understanding of this phenomenon, which is not merely the outcome of personal efforts and achievements but is also the fruit of the interrelations between numerous other factors, (equity and justice being at the top of them) which have thus far seldom been connected to this concept. 
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/582415
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