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Vulnerable Communities / Publication Abstract

Poverty Research and Measurement: Making the Case for Consumption Adequacy

Jan 29, 2019

Justine Rapp Farrell, Ronald Paul Hill

Vulnerable Communities


Scholarship involving impoverished consumers and consumption is an important part of consumer research on well-being. Investigations have looked at domestic (US) poverty as well as its global manifestations at the base of the pyramid. Together they form a body of scholarship with underlying assumptions about what scholars, policy makers, and consumer advocates believe constitutes being poor versus not being poor. While these studies have much to offer, ambiguous definitions of impoverishment guide their research, which also include choices among possible measurement instruments. To address this deficit, our article approaches the differences in research focus across constituencies, seeking to understand how poverty is both defined and measured within our field. Under the conceptual foundation of the consumption adequacy perspective, we advance a definition of poverty that is used to determine the lived experiences of material impoverishment.

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