Friday, December 07, 2012

What are poor and lower class people like?

Will Barratt, Ph.D.

Work: service, retired, white collar, blue collar

Education: Some high school, high school graduate, some college,

Home:  Rent, own

Money and money management: low or below average assets

Shop: Express, The Limited, Lane Bryant, Wal-Mart, Home Shopping Network, Publisher’s Clearing House, Rite Aid, Avon, in home.

Read: Comic books, Vibe, Saturday Evening Post, Spin, Reader’s Digest, American Woodworker, OK! Magazine, American Legion Magazine, Motorcyclist, Good Housekeeping, Hunting, Essence, Jet, Town and Country, Women’s day, Parents,

Watch:  Maury, Jeopardy, Game show network, Dr. Phil, Sabado Gigante, Telemundo, The Price is Right, Jerry Springer, As the world turns, Soapnet, Primer Impacto, People’s Court, Judge Judy, The Young and the Restless

Drive: Kia Spectra, Rio, Suzuki Forenza, Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Dodge Charger, Hundai Tiburon, Mercury Sable, Chevrolet Aveo, GMC Canyon, Ford Ranger, Ford Crown Victoria, Suzuki Reno, Chrusler 300, Mercury Grand Marquis, Dodge Ram.

Vacation, play, and travel: Bingo, Whitewater rafting, Gamble in Atlantic City or Reno, own a motor home, needlepoint, domestic travel on Jet Blue, collect stamps,

Insurance and memberships were not listed in the PRIZM descriptions for these groups.


I have aggregated information from the 15 PRIZM market segments classified as Downscale and Low Income to describe the poor and lower social class.  This collection of 15 market segments is described as low to downscale.  Using US Census data this would be incomes under $40,000, or place these individuals in the lowest 40% by household income.

Market segmenting makes assumptions about consumption and creates clusters of people based on their consumer characteristics, age, and on where they live.  The Nielsen Company has identified 66 PRIZM market segments, 58 P$YCLE segments, and 53 ConneXions segments, and described them by demographics and lifestyle and media traits.


These are not stereotypes, these are consumer behaviors based on research on what people report about themselves.  These data and descriptions are widely used by marketers in the US.  The underlying assumption here is that social class is reflected in consumer behaviors.  By looking closely it is clear that this group has little money.  This consumer assumption about social class does not reflect social class as culture or social class as identity.


What are upper-middle class people like?

What are upper-middle-middle class people like?

What are middle-middle class people like?

What are lower-middle-middle class people like?

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