Poverty in consumer culture: towards a transformative social representationFrançoise PASSERARD, Martina HUTTON, Hélène GORGE, Ahmet EKICI, Catherine COLEMAN, Christopher BLOCKER, Andres BARRIOS, Emma BANISTER, Maria G. PIACENTINI, Kathy HAMILTON, Bige SAATCIOGLU
In this article, we consider the representations of poverty within
consumer culture. We focus on four main themes – social exclusion,
vulnerability, pleasure and contentment – that capture some of the associations
that contemporary understandings have made with poverty. For each theme, we
consider the portrayals of poverty from the perspective of key agents (such as
marketers, media, politicians) and then relate this to more emic representations
of poverty by drawing on a range of contemporary poverty alleviating projects
from around the world. We conclude with a set of guidelines for relevant
stakeholders to bear in mind when elaborating their representations of poverty.
These guidelines may act as a platform to transform marginalising
representations of poverty into more empowering representations.