Transitions into poverty: An exploratory study into how families cope when faced with income reduction and limited consumption opportunities

Kathy Hamilton, Miriam Catterall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses transitions into poverty and the consequent effects on consumption experiences. It argues that the transitory poor, a group which has been largely neglected, offers considerable research potential on issues surrounding changes in income and consequent coping strategies in terms of both the construction of identity and the construction of poverty. Findings are drawn from families that have recently made the transition into poverty. Results indicate that the transition into poverty may reduce attachment to material possessions and lead consumers to re-evaluate what is important to them. Transitions into poverty will also have an impact on the way in which poverty is constructed as pre-transition lifestyles may be used as a point of comparison. As a result, the exchange restrictions and negative consequences associated with poverty may appear worse than they do for the long-term poor because the transitory poor have become accustomed to a higher level of consumption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-136
Number of pages13
JournalMarketing Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2006


  • consumer behaviour
  • transistion
  • poverty
  • coping strategies
  • family

Cite this