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Original Research

The psychology of poverty

Johan Janse van Rensburg

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 34, No 1 (2013), 10 pages. doi: 10.4102/ve.v34i1.825

Submitted: 09 January 2013
Published:  18 October 2013


This article investigates the psychological experience of poor people and the pastoral responsibility to guide them towards poverty transition. A qualitative analysis of the narratives of three participants is compared to the enthralling history of Florcy Mabuza who in her book, Poverty mentality: The root of poverty, explains the dangers of a spiritual and emotional mindset that precipitates and feeds the plight of poverty. Using a literature study to interpret the narratives as well as a method of encoding, basic mindsets of poverty and factors that influence this mindset are identified. The study culminates in conclusions to encourage further research and pastoral involvement.

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Author affiliations

Johan Janse van Rensburg, Department Practical Theology, University of the Free State, South Africa


Poverty; pastoral care; poverty transition; qualitative research; encoding


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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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