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. One has to immerse himself or herself with the realities of the poor or the victims of injustices. 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. It 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
It 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 consequences -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

distributed. and utilization of wealth c) Cultural Analysis -analyzes how economic. by making use of key concepts and key relationships. Consequently. tradition and the role it plays in social situation -attempts to understand social structure and cultural dynamics between individuals and groups in society Limitations Social analysis.Basic Tools of Social Analysis 1) Historical Analysis It 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. political. can only provide a limited and incomplete understanding of reality. Basic Components of Structural Analysis a) Political Analysis -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. Finally. social analysis does not provide a blueprint for action. 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. It indicates the importance of a “historical consciousness” – of people as subjects rather than as mere objects of history. 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. political and other structures are justified or explained -analyzes existing social values. norms. Moreover. social analysis is not “value-free” because it proceeds from particular starting points and “ideological presuppositions”. It may help identify historical trends. and flow. distribution. stages. beliefs. It has the effect of simplifying social reality by focusing on certain aspects of it at the expense of others. 2) Structural Analysis It is an exploration into basic structures of society (economic. . and used in society b) Economic Analysis -analysis social situation within the context of (material) resources and its allocation -looks at the forces involved in the production.

It continues to exist to this day and will exist well into the future if no effective measures are taken to address it. education. e. freedom. (World Bank. like transfers and subsidies. vulnerability. creative life. ! Basic Needs Deprivation Approach Poverty is a lack of basic needs. To determine income. food. Modern definitions of the concept. disease. The denial of opportunities and choices to lead a long. clothing • Security : shelter. water. Basic needs may be interpreted in terms of minimum specified quantities of things [e. etc.g. family care or psychological needs . one is inclined to think of poverty in terms of money (e. healthy. Even before the time of Jesus. and exposure to risk. Typically. income) or material wealth or resources. health. water and sanitation. This is consistent with the recognition that human life and human needs does not only revolve around money or wealth. shelter.g. Income measurements do not take into account other ways that families may use to avail of goods and services. however. (UNDP) The definition of poverty has been expanded to include not only material deprivation but also low levels of health. through domestic production and/or access to public education and welfare services provided by government and non-government organizations. and respect of others. 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). peoples participation. sanitation] that are necessary to prevent undernourishment. Some Definitions of Poverty • • • • A pronounced deprivation in well being.III. clothing. and to enjoy a decent standard of living. Poverty : A Multidimensional Reality One of the most notable and most terrible and enduring manifestations of inequality in society is poverty. one looks at the quantity and quality of land. capital owned by an individual / family. A person is poor at any given time if income is insufficient to acquire enough commodities to meet basic material needs adequately. income and employment • Enabling : basic education and literacy. Presented here are some of the approaches used in trying to explain and understand the nature of poverty. poverty has been in existence. labor. The Different Approaches to Understanding Poverty ! Income Deprivation Approach This conventional measure of poverty is based on income. dignity. 2001) The chronic inability to meet basic needs to attain a decent quality of life. This approach considers the following dimensions of the quality of life : • Survival : food and nutrition. A family whose income is below a certain income threshold is considered poor. broaden this perspective. however. self-esteem. Individuals / families can have access to goods and services through other ways. peace and order/public safety. This approach has its limitations.g.

painful. This approach connects poverty closely with issues of citizenship and social integration and their associated resource requirements. or hazardous due to poverty. The indicators / proxies used are very similar to those of the income deprivation approach . The indicators of this approach are the following : • Longevity : the percentage of people expected to die before the age of 40. and self-respect. life may be experienced as prematurely shortened. ! Social Exclusion Approach Poverty is best regarded as lack of the resources required to participate in social activities and enjoy living standards that are customary and widely accepted in society. From this perspective. By being deprived of knowledge and means of communication. percentage of malnourished children under the age of 5 years. and.! Capability Deprivation [or Human Poverty] 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. • Knowledge : the percentage of adults who are illiterate. confidence. difficult. • 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. millions are robbed of dignity.