This article examines the extent to which patterns of income allocation within the household influence poverty. The study proposes a new conceptual distinction between overt and covert mechanisms. It makes use of established concepts of financial management and control to explain the overt mechanisms, but questions the significance of existing management typologies in understanding poverty. The data draws on interviews conducted separately with both spouses in low-income households carefully selected from a gecekondu settlement in Ankara. Contrary to the dominant view, the research demonstrates a general tendency for both spouses to care for the 'collective good' in their income allocation decisions; thereby minimising further deprivation of the overall household and its individual members. It is also demonstrated that how total income is distributed in practice may be of greater relevance in understanding overall household deprivation than systems of financial management and control. Finally, secret kitties are shown to operate as a covert mechanism whereby women claim enhanced financial agency and indirectly challenge men's authority without causing increased deprivation for the overall household or the children.
- RURAL MIGRANT WOMEN
- MONEY MANAGEMENT