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The Pastoral Circle

The pastoral circle, which originates from liberation theology, is a framework for analyzing, reflecting on and addressing existing social issues [such as poverty and marginalization] in a scientific manner based on the experience of reality and consistent with Christian values. The Four Moments of the Pastoral Circle Insertion / Experience These are the experiences that constitute the primary data. ne has to immerse himself or herself with the realities of the poor or the victims of in!ustices. This will enable the person to experience and realize what the poor and marginalized are going through, how they are responding, etc. Social Analysis "This method is considered as the systematic interpretation of the data gained from experience. This will provide a person a deeper understanding of the issues confronting the different sectors of the society. #t uses tools borrowed from social science to systematically analyze existing issues. Theological Reflection This attempts to gain broader and deeper understanding of analyzed data in the light of the scriptures, church social teachings, the resources of traditions, and the Christian faith in general. Pastoral Action "the response to the identified and analyzed social problem and issue consistent with the previous moments of the pastoral circle "leads to new experiences and another cycle in the pastoral process

II. Social Analysis

#t is the effort to obtain a more complete picture of a social situation by exploring its historical and structural relationships. To make it more rigorous, one makes use of frameworks of analysis provided by the social sciences, such as economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, etc.$. Use of Social Analysis "an examination of causes, actors, linkages, and conse%uences "allows one not only to gain a clear picture of the nature of society and its issues but also enables an actor to situate his&herself in the order of things. "allows one to see if his&her actions are transforming or reinforcing the contemporary social situation "serves as a guide for social action "enables one to trace into the past and predict possible future social situation Basic Tools of Social Analysis 1) Historical Analysis #t seeks to explain&situate a social situation in the context of history by attempting to trace the historical roots of a particular issue or situation and even determine how it has progressed throughout history. #t may help identify historical trends, stages, and flow. #t indicates the importance of a 'historical consciousness( ) of people as sub!ects rather than as mere ob!ects of history. 2) Structural Analysis #t is an exploration into basic structures of society *economic, political, and cultural$ ) 'organized and relatively stable patterns of behavior of people in interaction with other people( ) and their dynamics to gain a better understanding of the social situation.

Basic Components of Structural Analysis

a$ +olitical ,nalysis
"looks at situation in the context of power and power structures "attempts to identify groups - institutions in society - analyze their political dynamics within social situation "analyzes how political power is structured, distributed, and used in society

b$ .conomic ,nalysis
"analysis social situation within the context of *material$ resources and its allocation "looks at the forces involved in the production, distribution, and utilization of wealth

c$ Cultural ,nalysis
"analyzes how economic, political and other structures are !ustified or explained "analyzes existing social values, norms, beliefs, tradition and the role it plays in social situation "attempts to understand social structure and cultural dynamics between individuals and groups in society

Limitations /ocial analysis, by making use of key concepts and key relationships, can only provide a limited and incomplete understanding of reality. #t has the effect of simplifying social reality by focusing on certain aspects of it at the expense of others. Conse%uently, what results is a biased view of social reality because the framework of analysis determines not only interpretation of data but also the choice of data to be included for analysis. 0oreover, social analysis is not 'value"free( because it proceeds from particular starting points and 'ideological presuppositions(. 1inally, social analysis does not provide a blueprint for action.

III. Poverty : A Multidimensional eality

ne of the most notable and most terrible and enduring manifestations of ine%uality in society is poverty. .ven before the time of 2esus, poverty has been in existence. #t continues to exist to this day and will exist well into the future if no effective measures are taken to address it. Typically, one is inclined to think of poverty in terms of money *e.g. income$ or material wealth or resources. 0odern definitions of the concept, however, broaden this perspective. This is consistent with the recognition that human life and human needs does not only revolve around money or wealth. Thus the reality of poverty has not only one dimension *material wealth or health or participation$ but has multiple dimensions *those that were mentioned altogether and more$. +resented here are some of the approaches used in trying to explain and understand the nature of poverty. Some !efinitions of Poverty
, pronounced deprivation in well being. *3orld 4ank, 5667$ The chronic inability to meet basic needs to attain a decent %uality of life. The denial of opportunities and choices to lead a long, healthy, creative life, and to en!oy a decent standard of living, freedom, dignity, self"esteem, and respect of others. *89:+$ The definition of poverty has been expanded to include not only material deprivation but also low levels of health, education, vulnerability, and exposure to risk.

The !ifferent A""roaches to Understandin# Poverty Income epri!ation Approach

This conventional measure of poverty is based on income. To determine income, one looks at the %uantity and %uality of land, labor, capital owned by an individual & family. , person is poor at any given time if income is insufficient to ac%uire enough commodities to meet basic material needs ade%uately. , family whose income is below a certain income threshold is considered poor.

This approach has its limitations, however. #ncome measurements do not take into account other ways that families may use to avail of goods and services, e.g. through domestic production and&or access to public education and welfare services provided by government and non"government organizations. #ndividuals & families can have access to goods and services through other ways, like transfers and subsidies.

"asic #ee$s epri!ation Approach

+overty is a lack of basic needs. 4asic needs may be interpreted in terms of minimum specified %uantities of things [e.g. food, clothing, shelter, water, sanitation] that are necessary to prevent undernourishment, disease, etc. This approach considers the following dimensions of the %uality of life ; Survival ; food and nutrition, health, water and sanitation, clothing Security ; shelter, peace and order&public safety, income and employment Enabling ; basic education and literacy, peoples participation, family care or psychological needs

%apa&ility epri!ation [or Human Po!erty] Approach

This approach regards poverty as not only a lack of necessities for material well"being but as the denial of opportunities for living a tolerable life. 1rom this perspective, life may be experienced as prematurely shortened, difficult, painful, or hazardous due to poverty. 4y being deprived of knowledge and means of communication, millions are robbed of dignity, confidence, and self"respect. The indicators of this approach are the following ; Longevity ; the percentage of people expected to die before the age of <6. Knowledge ; the percentage of adults who are illiterate. Standard of Living ; the composite of the following three variables ; percentage of people with access to health services= percentage of people with access to safe water, and= percentage of malnourished children under the age of > years.

Social Exclusion Approach

+overty is best regarded as lack of the resources re%uired to participate in social activities and en!oy living standards that are customary and widely accepted in society. This approach connects poverty closely with issues of citizenship and social integration and their associated resource re%uirements. The indicators & proxies used are very similar to those of the income deprivation approach