Unequal but essential:How subsistence consumer–entrepreneurs negotiate unprecedented shock with extraordinary resilience during COVID-19

Viswanathan, M. and Faruque Aly, H. and Duncan, R. and Mandhan, N. (2021) Unequal but essential:How subsistence consumer–entrepreneurs negotiate unprecedented shock with extraordinary resilience during COVID-19. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 55 (1). pp. 151-178. ISSN 0022-0078

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Abstract

We use qualitative interviews to study subsistence consumers confronting the global, pervasive and extended challenges of COVID-19, encompassing literally all realms of daily life. For subsistence consumers whose circumstances are filled with day-to-day uncertainty and a small margin of error to begin with, the pandemic has led to manifold uncertainties and a disappearing margin of error, with potentially lethal consequences. Their constraints to thinking and lack of self-confidence arising from both low income and low literacy are magnified in the face of the complex, invisible pandemic and the fear and panic it has caused. Characteristic relational strengths are weakened with social distancing and fear of infection. Yet, subsistence consumers display humanity in catastrophe, and confront the uncontrollable by reiterating a higher power. Consumption is reduced to the very bare essentials and income generation involves staying the course versus finding any viable alternative. We derive implications for consumer affairs. Copyright 2021 by The American Council on Consumer Interests

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Consumer Affairs
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Viswanathan, M, Faruque Aly, H, Duncan, R, Mandhan, N. Unequal but essential: How subsistence consumer–entrepreneurs negotiate unprecedented shock with extraordinary resilience during COVID‐19. J Consum Aff. 2021; 55: 151– 178. https://doi.org/10.1111/joca.12351 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/joca.12351 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3312
Subjects:
ID Code:
153594
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Apr 2021 10:05
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
16 Jun 2021 09:04