November 15, 2014 | Ram Poudel

Social Science

The social field theory hypothesize that the patterns of general interaction of an individual in a society can be modeled the same way as other field concepts – such as one the Newton’s laws of the Gravitational Field.


There are diverse beliefs of poverty that can be broadly classified into two: a) Poverty is Individual; and b) Poverty is Structural. Whatever doctrine one may follow, it is imperative from those beliefs that both society and individual are important aspect of poverty dynamics. Some countries labeled at one side of development spectrum have managed to move to other side with in a generation through collective efforts of individual say a right political decision in the country. Hence it is imperative that cohesion among individuals of a society for a common cause, say to develop society/regime one belong to, is another important aspect on defining poverty dynamics. Even in this era of globalization, individual behaviour is beginning to increasingly become the key factor which governs the evolution of both the world and society as a whole (Prigogine 2003). A general interaction between a society and an individual, hence must take into account parameters of society and an individual, plus a measure to gauge harmony in between these two.


An individual in a society Ω  may value or have reason to value a set of qualities say {x1, x2,….xn } with corresponding weight in order say {α12,….αn }. However, the society as an institution may have aggregate weight {w1,w2,….wn } different than idiosyncratic view of the individual. For simplicity we assume that those qualities are common both to a society and to an individual because a society can be defined as the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community. Hence,
Societal Strength 〈S〉 = ∑wi xi
Individual Strength 〈I〉 = ∑αi xi


It will be ideal if those sets of qualities xi be linearly independent tuples of vector 〈S〉 or〈I〉. However it may not be possible to identify such independent variables with in an ecosystem where elements are connected and complement one way or other. The choice and weight of element of those vectors S or I may vary across society and geography. In respect of sovereignty of a society to identify her strengths, we will leave this seemingly necessary qualities to define open to academic discussion, in part inspired by Sen (1989). The Human Development Index (UNDP), Energy Development Index (IEA), Multidimensional Poverty Index (Alkire and Foster 2011) inspired by the Sen’s Poverty Index (Sen 1976) are, in essence, attempts to identify the social strength.


At a given instant 〈S〉 can be considered having a fixed magnitude|S|, and each individual maintain a unique trust vector, say r with the society. A proxy for the trust vector r could be a function of social cohesion or social well-being or something alike say Consumer Sentiment Index for economy.


Following analogy of many other fields (such as gravitation, electrostatic, magnetic fields), the social field theory states that the binding force between a society of strength 〈S〉 and an individual of strength 〈I〉 is
a) directly proportional to product of S and I; and
b) inversely proportional to the square of the trust vector r the individual maintain with society in equilibrium.
Mathematically, the social binding force (In natural unit), F= S I /r2


In this document ‘Social Field’ and ‘Poverty Field’ are used interchangeably to mean the same field concept describe above. In the social field, Intensity = S/r2 and Potential = – S/r. Potential Energy = (– S/r)*I→ Capabilities à la Sen →0 as r→∞.


We postulate:
HP01: Poverty field is a quasi-conservative field, defined as a field for which rate of change of total energy is a monotonic function of time.
HPO2: Poverty levels are quantized in similar notion as in established models of an atom, Bohr’s theory of the hydrogen atom (Bohr 1914).