Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Working-class consumers: A look at the complex social system of a trailer park

Date:
September 10, 2013
Source:
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.
Summary:
Contrary to stereotypes, low-income trailer park residents form distinct groups with different visions of morality, according to a new study.

Contrary to stereotypes, low-income trailer park residents form distinct groups with different visions of morality, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

“These findings emphasize the multiplicity and richness of social identities that exist within the same social class of the working poor,” write authors Bige Saatcioglu (Ozyegin University) and Julie L. Ozanne (Virginia Tech).

The authors conducted an ethnographic study within a trailer park community in the United States. They examined the ways low-income consumers negotiate their social status within a resource-restrained and stigmatized community. They found that residents used different visions of morality to evaluate themselves and their neighbors.

The study revealed five distinct social groups within the trailer park. The Nesters value hard work, discipline, and perseverance, and cherish their trailers as power symbols of their successful consumerism. Nesters are critical of many of their neighbors who they see as irresponsible, lazy, and immoral. Reluctant Emigrants view life in the park as a downward trajectory from their past lives. Community Builders offer constructive communal solutions and cooperate with various stakeholders to help improve life within the park. Homesteaders are resigned and indifferent, but skilled in leveraging social support within the community. They are reluctant to leave the park where they feel at ease and find support. Finally, the Outsiders represent a tightly knit defiant subculture focused around a thrill-seeking moral disposition. They engage in defiant and rule-breaking practices within the park and attach little symbolic meaning to the trailer home or life in the park.

This study sheds light on why it is difficult for low-income consumers to unite. “Why is there enduring class stability and very few working-class protests despite growing social inequalities in the United States?” the authors ask. “The micropolitics of life within the trailer park suggest organizing for social change would need to overcome significant differences among these groups.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Bige Saatcioglu, Julie L. Ozanne. Moral Habitus and Status Negotiation in a Marginalized Working Class Neighborhood. Journal of Consumer Research, December 2013

Cite This Page:

Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Working-class consumers: A look at the complex social system of a trailer park." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910104843.htm>.
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. (2013, September 10). Working-class consumers: A look at the complex social system of a trailer park. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910104843.htm
Journal of Consumer Research, Inc.. "Working-class consumers: A look at the complex social system of a trailer park." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130910104843.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Russia Saves Gecko Sex Satellite, Media Has Some Fun With It

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The satellite is back under ground control after a tense few days, but with a gecko sex experiment on board, the media just couldn't help themselves. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins