Extreme exclusion and relative deprivation in subsistence marketplaces: A study in a refugee settlement in Nakivale, Uganda

Madhubalan Viswanathan, Robert Alfonso Arias, Arun Sreekumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We study how refugees in a settlement face extreme marketplace exclusion through three phases of qualitative research. Overlaying the context of subsistence marketplaces, such exclusion is accentuated by refugee status, fleeing from unimaginable suffering. We interpret our findings in terms of relative deprivation, or the state of feeling deprived relative to some social reference, often used to understand how consumers feel deprived in terms of their relative financial status. We extend relative deprivation theory in research, introducing extreme marketplace deprivation. Whereas most relative deprivation research emphasizes social comparisons to other people, our study of the refugee settlement demonstrates the adverse effects of intrapersonal relative deprivation, that is, feeling deprived relative to one's past. We develop a theoretical framework to demarcate types of extreme marketplace deprivation, classifying these experiences in terms of consumption and livelihood along three facets (material, social, and psychological). We derive implications for consumer affairs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-117
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Consumer Affairs
Volume55
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • extreme marketplace exclusion
  • refugees
  • subsistence marketplaces

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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