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Moral Habitus and Status Negotiation in a Marginalized Working-Class Neighborhood

Bige Saatcioglu and Julie L. Ozanne
Journal of Consumer Research
Vol. 40, No. 4 (December 2013), pp. 692-710
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.1086/671794
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/671794
Page Count: 19
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Moral Habitus and Status Negotiation in a Marginalized Working-Class Neighborhood
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Abstract

Examinations of the moral and ethical dimensions in identity construction are scant in consumer research. This ethnography of a trailer-park neighborhood investigates how different moral dispositions shape low-income, working-class residents’ consumption practices and status negotiations. Drawing from Bourdieu’s conceptualization of habitus and cultural capital, the authors extend this theory by foregrounding the moral aspects of habitus and demonstrate how morally oriented worldviews are enacted through consumption practices and social evaluations within everyday communities. The study reveals five moral identities that shape the residents’ social construction of status within the microcultural context of a trailer park. These findings point to the multiplicity and richness of social-class-based dispositions as well as the importance of studying micro-level contexts to better understand macrodynamics.

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