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Socially Perceived Necessities in South Africa: patterns of possession Socially Perceived Necessities in South Africa: patterns of possession

This paper presents findings on people’s views about what is necessary for an acceptable standard of living in present-day South Africa and the extent to which those items are possessed. The approach taken here is based on a concept of relative poverty that focuses on the ability of people to achieve a socially determined acceptable standard of living to enable them to participate fully in society (Townsend, 1979; Pantazis et al., 2006). Such an approach includes but also goes beyond the meeting of basic needs and resonates well with principles contained in key South African policy documents and the Constitution (Magasela, 2005). The research is based on the ‘socially perceived necessities’ survey tradition that originated in Britain (e.g. Bradshaw et al., 1998; Gordon and Pantazis, 1997; Gordon et al., 2000; Mack and Lansley, 1985; Pantazis et al., 2006). This approach has been applied subsequently in several other countries around the world though not, until this study, in a society that has such high levels of inequality as South Africa (Leibbrandt et al., 2010)

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Version 2011
Author Gemma Wright