The Main Approaches to the Study of the Phenomenon of Poverty in Foreign Psychological Studies

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Abstract

This article is devoted to the analysis of the main theories aimed at the definition and description of the phenomenon of poverty. Up to date, within the framework of psychological studies of the phenomenon of poverty there is no consensus on the definition of poverty and its relationship with different individual and psychological characteristics of personality. The analysis of the literature on the issue helped to allocate four psychological approach to the study of the premises for the emergence and development of the phenomenon of poverty and its possible impact on personality, which focus on the different characteristics of poverty and assert various psychological consequences of poverty for the individual. These approaches include the "culture of poverty", "evolutionary approach to poverty," "situational approach to poverty” and “socio-cognitive theory of a social class". The analysis of these approaches suggests that poverty is a complex and non-homogeneous phenomenon, which manifests a big variety of individual differences. It also highlights the different types of poverty: chronic poverty, short-term poverty, objective and subjective poverty. Further research in this area make it possible to empirically test the hypothesis of the existence of these types of poverty, as well as help to understand in what way each of them interacts with various individual psychological characteristics of personality.

General Information

Keywords: poverty, psychological approaches to study of poverty, “culture of poverty”, subjective socio-economic status, objective poverty, chronic poverty, short-term poverty, individual psychological characteristics of personality

Journal rubric: Social Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Efremova M.V., Patosha O.I., Poluektova O.V. The Main Approaches to the Study of the Phenomenon of Poverty in Foreign Psychological Studies [Elektronnyi resurs]. Sovremennaia zarubezhnaia psikhologiia = Journal of Modern Foreign Psychology, 2014. Vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 91–101. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

Information About the Authors

Maria V. Efremova, PhD in Psychology, Leading Research Fellow, Center for Socio-Cultural Research, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5327-1451, e-mail: mefremova@hse.ru

Olga I. Patosha, PhD in Psychology, Associated Professor, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia, e-mail: o.patosha@gmail.com

Olga V. Poluektova, PhD Student, Bremen International Graduate School of Social Sciences, Jacobs University, Bremen, Germany, e-mail: olga_poluektova@hotmail.com

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