Low-income families: experiences and responses to consumer exclusion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to focus on low-income families who are excluded from consumer culture. It explores their experiences and responses to material deprivation, social deprivation and stigmatization. Given the need for identification and calculation of exclusion thresholds to be supplemented by the voice of the excluded themselves, the study is based on qualitative analysis of 30 in-depth interviews with low-income families who encounter consumption constraints in the marketplace. While the harsh realities of consumer exclusion cannot be denied, findings also present a more positive outlook as excluded consumers can achieve empowerment through employment of stigma management strategies, creative consumer coping and rejection of the stigmatizing regime. Research is based only on families with children under the age of 18; future research on older people and exclusion would prove a useful comparison. The research raises a number of important policy issues in relation to social barriers to inclusion and the role of marketing in contributing to consumer exclusion. Social policy studies surrounding social exclusion in terms of separation from mainstream society tend to focus on employment. This paper highlights that a social exclusion discourse can also provide a useful perspective to investigate exclusion in relation to consumerism.
LanguageEnglish
Pages543-557
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Sociology and Social Policy
Volume29
Issue number9/10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

low income
exclusion
experience
social deprivation
policy studies
stigmatization
deprivation
Low-income families
Exclusion
empowerment
coping
marketing
inclusion
regime
interview
management

Keywords

  • consumerism
  • poverty
  • social satisfaction
  • disadvantaged groups
  • consumer behaviour
  • Nothern Ireland

Cite this

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title = "Low-income families: experiences and responses to consumer exclusion",
abstract = "The purpose of this paper is to focus on low-income families who are excluded from consumer culture. It explores their experiences and responses to material deprivation, social deprivation and stigmatization. Given the need for identification and calculation of exclusion thresholds to be supplemented by the voice of the excluded themselves, the study is based on qualitative analysis of 30 in-depth interviews with low-income families who encounter consumption constraints in the marketplace. While the harsh realities of consumer exclusion cannot be denied, findings also present a more positive outlook as excluded consumers can achieve empowerment through employment of stigma management strategies, creative consumer coping and rejection of the stigmatizing regime. Research is based only on families with children under the age of 18; future research on older people and exclusion would prove a useful comparison. The research raises a number of important policy issues in relation to social barriers to inclusion and the role of marketing in contributing to consumer exclusion. Social policy studies surrounding social exclusion in terms of separation from mainstream society tend to focus on employment. This paper highlights that a social exclusion discourse can also provide a useful perspective to investigate exclusion in relation to consumerism.",
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Low-income families : experiences and responses to consumer exclusion. / Hamilton, K.L.

In: International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 29, No. 9/10, 2009, p. 543-557.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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