Title

Adapting to Hard Times: Family Participation Patterns in Local Thrift Economies

Keywords

economic distress, family and social change

Abstract

Using survey data from a western U.S. county (N = 595), we examined how lower, middle, and higher income families negotiate a period of economic stress—the closing of a major employer in the community—through their shopping patterns. Specifically, we examined their participation in local thrift economies such as yard sales and secondhand stores. We found that lower and middle income households shop more frequently at these venues. They also tend to shop more for furniture and clothing, whereas higher income households tend to shop for antiques and trinkets. These relationships varied across the type of thrift economy examined. Overall, findings support the argument that engagement in thrift economies may constitute one mechanism families use during periods of economic stress.

Original Publication Citation

Spencer L. James, Ralph B. Brown, Todd L. Goodsell, Josh Stovall, and Jeremy Flaherty. 2010. “Adapting to Hard Times: Family Participation Patterns in Local Thrift Economies.” Family Relations 59(4):383-395.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010-09-11

Publisher

Family Relations

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

Share

COinS