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Deprivation

Deprivation refers to denial of access to resources required for self-development and fulfillment of basic necessities. Resources can be social, economic and cultural and basic necessities vary from one culture to another. According to Peter Bourdieu, deprivation is a lack of adequate social, cultural, symbolic and economic capital. Thus deprivation is a broader phenomenon than poverty. Cultural norms can lead to deprivations. In orthodox societies, women are not allowed to take education and other social activities. Some traditional societies like in India also have rigid social stratification like caste system that also leads to multiple deprivations for those in the lower strata. Racism and ethnocentric practices also deprive one section of population from amenities of life thus deprivation can also be due to structural factors. Absolute deprivation refers to a situation when one doesn’t have even the basic necessities of life like food, sanitation, drinking water, basic education and health. Poverty, marginalization and hunger are the examples of absolute deprivation. Robert Merton also mentions relative deprivation as another form of deprivation. Despite absolute progress in society due to presence of inequalities, relative deprivation always remains there.

Emagzine