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  • Unequal But Essential Covid Paper

    Rights statement: 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.

    Accepted author manuscript, 468 KB, PDF document

    Embargo ends: 19/02/22

    Available under license: CC BY-NC: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

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

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>18/03/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Consumer Affairs
Issue number1
Volume55
Number of pages28
Pages (from-to)151-178
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/02/21
<mark>Original language</mark>English

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

Bibliographic note

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.