Basic human rights are not met in many parts of the world. Hunger, ill-health, and poor education are often part of the lives of the poor. The purpose of this study is to understand poor people's sources of strength, social relations, sources of income, and perspectives as strategies to cope with poverty in everyday life. Data gathering was done through field observations and semi-structured interviews with poor and non-poor people in the Philippine town, Hagonoy. All data was codified according to recurrent and salient issues and analyzed using chiefly symbolic interactionism as the theoretical framework. The results of this study reveal that poor people suffer from stigmas. Poor people carry out various survival strategies: some strategies are creative, spiritual, and norm-breaking; social relations are important to cope with poverty. There are differences in the way poverty affects men and women due to culturally defined gender roles. The poor people in this study were marginalized into less desirable areas; because of their lack of resources they live in shanties where they have little protection. Calamities affect both the non-poor and the poor people but the latter are in a less fortunate position.


Poverty, Stigmas, Social Marginalization, Coping with Poverty, Income Opportunities, Floods, Field Observations, Semi-Structured Interviews, Microsociological Analysis

Author Bio(s)

Antonio Rosales studied in Lund University Sweden, where he gained his Bachelor of Science and Master in Sociology. He takes an interest in microsociology and qualitative methods as a way to approach issues such as social deviance, marginalization, coercion, conflicts, power and stigma. In addition to sociology, he has a previous background as a musician--specifically in classical piano. Antonio Rosales was born in San Salvador, El Salvador and grew up in Malmo, Sweden. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Antonio Rosales at, anto9_malmo@hotmail.com.


I am heartily thankful to: the people of Hagonoy who shared their thoughts and experiences and who through this article continue sharing with the readers; my partner who through her translations and proficiency in Tagalog and English increased the efficiency of this study. I would also like to thank my and my partner’s families for their support.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





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