I Can Do It! Consumer Coping and Poverty Kathy Hamilton

I Can Do It! Consumer Coping and Poverty Kathy Hamilton

7 Pages · 2015 · 132 KB · English

Kathy Hamilton, University of Strathclyde, Scotland Miriam Catterall, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland the selection of information-rich cases that

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ASSOCIATION FOR CONSUMER RESEARCH Labovitz School of Business & Economics, University of Minnesota Duluth, 11 E Superior Street, Suite 210, Duluth, MN 55802 “I Can Do It!” Consumer Coping and Poverty Kathy Hamilton, University of Strathclyde, Scotland Miriam Catterall, Queen's University Belfast, Northern Ireland This paper focuses on coping with poverty and the impact of coping strategies on individual lives, concentrating on lone mothers The women in this study gain a sense of achievement from their ability to “manage” and place great emphasis on being a good mother, thereby fighting against the negative discourse often associated with lone motherhood It is suggested that coping strategies can be interpreted as acts of consumer agency that can result in consumer empowerment In contrast with the bleak portrayal of the poor in prior research, we suggest that coping strategies can be instrumental in creating a positive identity [to cite]: Kathy Hamilton and Miriam Catterall (2008) ,"“I Can Do It!” Consumer Coping and Poverty", in NA Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds Angela Y Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 551556 [url]: http://wwwacrwebsiteorg/volumes/13386/volumes/v35/NA35 [copyright notice]: This work is copyrighted by The Association for Consumer Research For permission to copy or use this work in whole or in part, please contact the Copyright Clearance Center at http://wwwcopyrightcom/ 551Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, © 2008 ?I Can Do It!? Consumer Coping and Poverty Kathy Hamilton, University of Strathclyde, Scotland Miriam Catterall, Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland ABSTRACT This paper focuses on coping with poverty and the impact of coping strategies on individual lives, concentrating on lone moth ers The women in this study gain a sense of achievement from their ability to “manage” and place great emphasis on being a good mother, thereby fighting against the negative discourse often asso ciated with lone motherhood It is suggested that coping strategies can be interpreted as acts of consumer agency that can result in consumer empowerment In contrast with the bleak portrayal of the poor in prior research, we suggest that coping strategies can be instrumental in creating a positive identity This paper offers a fresh perspective to the work being done by consumer researchers in the poverty domain Hill and Stephens’ (1997) model of impoverished consumer behavior identified three main areas of research interest in lowincome consumers, namely exchange restrictions, consequences of disadvantage and strategies for coping with disadvantage The model suggests that poor con sumers face exchange restrictions that limit their ability to acquire needed and desired goods and services The consequences of these restrictions are typically negative and include alienation from the consumer culture, feelings of lost control and poor health Consum ers respond to these consequences with emotional and behavioral coping strategies This paper aims to advance beyond this model by examining the ways in which coping with poverty can have a positive impact on consumer identity From the psychology discipline, it is recog nized that there is a need to study coping processes and outcomes independently (Lazarus and Folkman 1984) Previous research has presented a bleak portrayal of poor consumers In contrast, we demonstrate that the employment of coping strategies can be instrumental in creating a positive self identity and has important implications for consumer empowerment and consumer agency We begin by reviewing the relevant literature on consumer coping This is followed by a methodology section outlining the data collection methods The findings are then presented; first we provide an overview of the variety of coping strategies employed, and second we examine the consequences of these coping strate gies We conclude by highlighting the importance of moving beyond the identification of coping strategies to consider the impact that these can have on the individual CONSUMER COPING The psychology literature often provides the theoretical frame work for coping studies within consumer research Coping can be defined as, “constantly changing cognitive and behavioral efforts to manage specific external and/or internal

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