The phenomenology of experiencing poverty – an exploration

07 January 2011

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