Using the Capability Approach to Conceptualise Inequality in Archaeology: the Case of the Late Neolithic Bosnian Site Okolite c. 5200-4600 BCE

Arponen, V. P. J., Müller, Johannes, Hofmann, R., Furholt, M., Ribeiro, A., Horn, C. and Hinz, M. (2016) Using the Capability Approach to Conceptualise Inequality in Archaeology: the Case of the Late Neolithic Bosnian Site Okolite c. 5200-4600 BCE Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory, 23 (2). pp. 541-560.

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Abstract

The past few decades have witnessed a growing realisation that market-based measures of human well-being-measures that centre on income and consumption distributions-miss some other perhaps even more essential elements of human well-being. This insight has found a prominent expression in the work of the Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen's so-called capability approach. At the same time, the market-based measure of inequality as a function of the distribution of material remains in graves and other locations remain dominant in archaeology. In this paper, we explore the significance of the capability approach, and the associated concept of human well-being based on the idea of capabilities, to the archaeology of social inequality and social malintegration. We discuss these notions using the case study of the Late Neolithic Bosnian tell site Okolite and argue that there, in c. 5200-4600 bce, the monopolisation of certain critical goods led to a critical capability inequality, malintegration and to a prolonged period of social unrest and decline.

Document Type: Article
Additional Information: Times Cited: 0 Arponen, V. P. J. Mueller, Johannes Hofmann, Robert Furholt, Martin Ribeiro, Artur Horn, Christian Hinz, Martin
Research affiliation: OceanRep > The Future Ocean - Cluster of Excellence
Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1072-5369
Projects: Future Ocean
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2017 12:17
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:50
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/36001

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