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 31, 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 31, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus

AP (July 30, 2014) Scientists in Texas are studying the Ebola virus, which has killed more than 670 people across West Africa this year. Right now, the disease has no vaccine and no specific treatment, with a fatality rate of at least 60 percent. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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