Social mobility and the social representation of sparkling wine in Brazil and France.
From Firenze University Press Journal: Wine Economics and Policy
Marcos Vinícius Araujo, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Centro de Estudos e Pesquisas em Agronegócios / Aix Marseille Université, Laboratoire de Psychologie Sociale UR849
Grégory Lo Monaco, Aix Marseille Université, Laboratoire ADEF UR 4671
Kelly Lissandra Bruch, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Centro de Estudos e Pesquisas em Agronegócios
Wine is a social object established in the old world and migrated later to the new world wine. With a significant presence in world wine, sparkling wine is an important French product, with Champagne. In Brazil, as a new world wine, sparkling wine has a recent, but crescent, history of production and consumption. In a social aspect, this product has different representations and roles in both countries, according to the type of product. Therefore, the aim of the present study is to understand how culture and social status influence the organization of social representations associated to sparkling wine in Brazil and in France. In this way, we used the approach of social representation, a theory of knowledge and historically constructed. To collect the content, we carried out a verbal association task. Two hundred and thirteen Brazilians and 198 French participants gave the first four words that were coming in mind about four inducted words. The verbal associations were analyzed by lemmatization and categorization. Then, we performed a correspondence factor analysis. The results supported our hypothesis that culture, social status, and social origin influence social representations associated to sparkling wine revealing this kind of wine as a product of social distinction and affluence.
Consumption is a symbolic act, as social behavior is influenced by symbolism around a given product, as well as its social role. Buying a product is not an isolated action. It is rooted in social and cultural values and ideologies. As a cultural product, wine — with collective values and symbolism — projects different representations because of its ancestry. Wine has more than 8,000 years of history , and was evidenced in Mesopotamia, a region which developed a rich urban civilization, as far back as 3000 BCE. Wine culture was established in the Old World, represented by European countries, and was later migrated to the New World . Represented by colonized countries, such as Brazil, New-World wine is undergoing an expansion in production and consumption , mainly in regard to sparkling wine, which has seen a significant increase in recent years. In Brazil, the conventional sparkling wine market grew around 160% from 2005 to 2017, and Moscatel sparkling wine grew around 400% . France is still the main sparkling wine market in the world. Over the last years, consumption there has remained stagnant, however, with low variation to local products and an increase of around 60% in imported sparkling wines. Despite said stagnation, France is still the world’s most important sparkling wine producer. The history of sparkling wine predates 77 CE, but its era of prestige began and continues with Champagne in France. Therefore, Champagne has been followed and imitated all over the world. In the USA, for example, locally produced sparkling wines have used the name “Champagne” to convey a better reputation for themselves. In Brazil, local sparkling wine was initially called “Brazilian Champagne”. Inspired by the Champagne region, replacement products have also emerged in France, such as the Crémants and other sparkling wines. In Brazil, the same representations associated to Champagne are applied to these variants mentioned above. Champagne shares the same representation with conventional and Moscatel sparkling wine and Cider, and, in France, Crémants and other sparkling wines. Despite the physical differences, these products share a social meaning and convey different, historically constructed representations in society.
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