Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Hegemonic and Polemical Beliefs: Culture and Consumption in the Social Representation of Wine

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Hegemonic and Polemical Beliefs: Culture and Consumption in the Social Representation of Wine

Article excerpt

Wine, in France, is a cultural product. However, the issue of wine consumption has been at the centre of a recurring social debate. We decided to focus our study on the effect of consumption practices on this social representation as well as the variations in position-taking in very different normative contexts. Results revealed two distinct social representations according to consumption practice. Moreover, Guttman effect in principal component analysis uncovered a unique phenomenon which showed that participants (consumer vs. non consumer) were inclined to act differently only in the case of polemical issues when they perceived the investigator as a consumer vs. non consumer. Indeed, in the case of hegemonic beliefs they were inclined to act in the same way and their answers were not influenced by the status of the investigator. Results are discussed around the question of the links between social representations and social identity.

Keywords: social representation, hegemony, polemics, Guttman effect, wine.

El vino, en Francia, es un producto cultural. No obstante, el tema del consumo de vino ha sido el centro de un debate social recurrente. Nosotros decidimos centrar nuestro estudio en los efectos de las prácticas de consumo en esta representación social así como en las variaciones de posturas en diferentes contextos normativos. Los resultados revelan dos representaciones sociales distintas de acuerdo a las prácticas de consumo. Aún más, el efecto Guttman en el análisis de componentes principales descubrió un fenómeno único que muestra que los participantes (consumidor vs. no consumidor) se inclinaron a comportarse de manera diferente dependiendo de si percibían al experimentador como consumidor vs. no consumidor respecto a aspectos polémicos, y no, con respecto a creencias hegemónicas. Los resultados se discuten en torno a la cuestión de los nexos entre las representaciones sociales y la identidad social.

Palabras clave: representación social, hegemonía, polémica, efecto Guttman, vino.

Among the various types of alcohol consumed in France, wine has long held a special place. Wine can be considered as a cultural accessory in view of its long history or as a source of controversy relative to its consumption (Garrier, 2005). However it cannot be denied that it is the source, in our times, in France, of significant social debate. Even so, it remains for the majority identity national pride. More precisely, and from a medical and social point of view, wine is an alcoholic beverage and the matter of its consumption can be regarded as a polemical subject.

This study addresses three questions. Firstly, consumption practices would be indicative of social anchoring. Second, wine as a sensitive object should lead to variations in consumer expression according to whether or not the interviewer declares himself as consumer or non consumer faced with consumer vs. non consumer subjects. wine can be considered as a sensitive object relatively to the aspects of its representation which are connected with the question of its consumption. In line with Moscovici (1988), we will talk about polemical aspects. Finally, third, wine as a cultural object would be able to inhibit polemics and social debate and mask differences between consumer and non consumer . Here we refer to federative aspects of the representation of the object. Always in line with Moscovici (1988), in this case, we will talk about hegemonic aspects. It is for this purpose that we chose the conceptual framework of social representations (Moscovici, 1961, 1988), with specific (Abric, 1993, 2001, 2003; Flament & Milland, 2003, 2005) and general (Doise, Clémence, & Lorenzi- Cioldi, 1993) methodologies.

Wine: from cultural icon to social controversy

What a rich history wine has, from medicinal use at the beginning of time to social marker nowadays. Wine is as much a part of the French landscape as its terroirs and constitutes even today a distinctive branding for France. …

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