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Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Keeping up appearances: low-income consumers' strategies aimed at disguising poverty

Hamilton, K.L. and Catterall, M. (2007) Keeping up appearances: low-income consumers' strategies aimed at disguising poverty. In: Asia-Pacific Advances in Consumer Research. Association for Consumer Research, 184 - 189.

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This paper explores the experiences of low-income families in dealing with the stigma associated with poverty in a consumer society. In-depth interviews were held with thirty low-income families. Findings suggest that attempts to disguise or mask poverty are common. These masking strategies were found both outside and within the family. The former involves the family’s united attempts to reduce the visibility of poverty to outsiders while the latter involves parents’ attempts to shield children from the effects of poverty. Findings support consumer research studies on stigma management, and suggest that strategies that mask stigmas may be important for vulnerable consumers.