Original Research

The phenomenology of experiencing poverty – an exploration

Karen van der Merwe
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 2, No 1 | a311 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v2i1.311 | © 2006 Karen van der Merwe | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 11 March 2016 | Published: 11 April 2006

About the author(s)

Karen van der Merwe, Vaal Triangle Faculty of North-West University, South Africa

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There is a plethora of research on poverty. Definitions of poverty are provided from various perspectives, reasons and causes for poverty are analysed, and descriptions are provided of the impact of poverty on adults and children. This article, however, tries to provide a unique view on the phenomenon of poverty: The focus is on a specific class of poor people, namely newly-impoverished people. It also provides a description and analysis of the very personal, subjective experience of poverty by this group of Afrikaans-speaking people. Various character strengths that may provide a sound foundation for psychosocial intervention programmes to re-launch newly impoverished people into economic independence are identified.


Poverty, phenomenological research, character strengths


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Crossref Citations

1. Towards a phenomenology of poverty: Defining poverty through the lived experiences of the ‘poor’
Laura Simpson Reeves, Cameron Parsell, Shuang Liu
Journal of Sociology  vol: 56  issue: 3  first page: 439  year: 2020  
doi: 10.1177/1440783319851204