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Débat privé, enjeu public? : comment les citoyens ordinaires construisent des opinions sur le problème de l’énergie

Abstract : Energy appears to be a major public problem, in which the public authorities regularly commit. But at the other end of this chain, how do ordinary individuals appropriate the public problem of energy? In the classical measures of public opinion, energy and environmental issues are often far from the top of the hierarchy of priorities. However, to reduce the pressure generated by our consumption patterns on ecosystems, the change in consumer behavior and attitudes is presented as a major lever. Is the energy issue then a political issue for all but a problem for no one? In order to answer this question, we question the fabric of ordinary opinions and propose to consider them as discursive statements tested in more or less complex, conflicting and public social situations.Upstream, many actors with access to public space help to guide and promote certain normative injunctions to define "good" practice. But these injunctions are neither stable nor homogeneous: they are the subject of controversies and give rise to discursive reformulations, sometimes dissonant. Between technological, economic, ecological, societal, etc. energy as a public problem is then subjected to a framing by dynamic normative orders defining certain deviations and is offered solutions recognized as legitimate under the influence of, inter alia, public action.But this level of description does not take "ordinary" citizens into account, and covers a common instrumental presupposition that citizens with "good" information act "correctly". This presupposition is questionable. Admittedly, an overwhelming majority of respondents stressed their agreement in principle to energy savings, thus demonstrating their knowledge - even partial - of the existence of a "public energy problem" and a commitment - even limited - to injunctions to moderate their energy consumption. But this tacit agreement comes up against other injunctions, competition between problems, social practices and the practical implementation of solutions.Neither overcompetent nor incompetent, ordinary citizens construct meaning through competitive normative norms and seek to make it compatible with their lifestyles. To do this, the confrontation of their opinions and the collective adjustment of their representations are necessary. By taking up some of the notions of pragmatism, we examine how the perceptions of the energy problem vary according to the social scenes in which it is discussed, their publicity or the degree of conflict that they generate, and we show that local communities with a common interpretation of a problem - and possibly solutions - can emerge and help fuel the legitimacy of the problem in public space. In this way, we emphasize that there are more or less public spaces but which do not always meet the criteria of conflictualization and rise in generality. These spaces illustrate the importance of taking into account the ambivalence and the lability of opinions in the appropriation of a public problem and the standardization of its solutions.
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Jérémy Bouillet. Débat privé, enjeu public? : comment les citoyens ordinaires construisent des opinions sur le problème de l’énergie. Science politique. Université Grenoble Alpes, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017GREAH021⟩. ⟨tel-01724209⟩

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