Recycling Identities: A Narrative Inquiry on Consumer Decision Making Among Urban Poor Families in the Philippines

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The purpose of this article is to explore consumption-related decisions of urban poor families. Using a combination of in-depth interviews and visual narrative exercise, stories of six urban poor families living in Payatas, Quezon City, were analyzed. Key findings show that consumption-related decisions of participants follow a double cyclic narrative of just right spending. Community shared practices enable participants to survive by managing tensions between making ends meet and sustaining a public ideal of living a simple life. The researchers provide reflections on the socio-economic reproduction of a public ideal and rethinking the role of psychology in poverty reduction policies.