Vulnerable Families


Seminar on Researching Financially Vulnerable Families in an Affluent Society, Presented by Karin M. Ekstr?m, 23 Nov 2011, Manchester, UK

 ARC: Connections: ELMAR: Posting

MOMS Division, MBS and the Marketing Department, LUMS are pleased to announce a joint CRAWS & CRIS seminar: Researching financially vulnerable families in an affluent society By Professor Karin M. Ekström, School of Business and IT, University of Borås, Sweden

Wednesday 23rd November, 2-4pm Alumni Common Room, refreshments served from 1.30pm. MBS West, The University of Manchester, Booth Street West, Manchester M15 6PB.

Spaces are limited so please email to book a place

If you have any questions about the event please email Emma Banister or Maria Piacentini ( or

Researching financially vulnerable families in an affluent society

Karin M. Ekström

School of Business and IT, University of Borås, Sweden

This paper describes the role of consumption in families with scarce financial resources in Sweden. The focus is on everyday life and the meaning(s) of consumption. What does it mean to live in economic scarcity characterized by uncertainty and anxiety in an affluent society? How does the economic situation affect planning, priorities and negotiations? To what extent are comparisons made? The study is based on interviews with 6 families. The results show that children seem to hold exceptional positions in the families regarding consumption. The study raises questions regarding how scarcity affects the relations between family members as well as between the family and the outside world. Methodological issues related to researching financially vulnerable families are also discussed.


Karin M. Ekström is Professor in Marketing at University of Borås, Sweden.

She is initiator and former director of the Centre for Consumer Science

(CFK), an interdisciplinary consumer research centre. Her research concerns family consumption, consumer socialization, collecting, reusing and recycling, and the meaning(s) of consumption. She has edited several books, most recently Consumer Behaviour; A Nordic Perspective (2010) and Beyond the Consumption Bubble (Ekström and Glans 2011) and published in journals such as Academy of Marketing Science Review, Journal of Consumer Behaviour, Journal of Macro Marketing, Journal of Marketing Management and Research in Consumer Behaviour. She has served on the advisory board for the Encyclopedia of Consumer Culture (ed. Dale Southerton 2011) and is chair of the Scientific Council for Research at the Swedish Consumer Agency. E-mail: