Le rôle des pesticides dans le choix de la conversion bio chez les agriculteurs. Etude de la dynamique de changement des représentations et des pratiques.

Abstract : These works question the relation between social representations and practices in order to propose an alternative to purely representational or praxiological determinism. The empirical studies conducted led us to posit a circular relationship, a reciprocal influence between representations and practices. The first part of this work was conducted within the “Psychopest” research program, whose aim was to study the social representations of pesticides among farmers and trainee farmers in three French territories: Britanny, Martinique and the South-East. In an applied perspective, the aim was to work towards reducing pesticide use. Through the results, we observed the influence and importance of agricultural territory: social representations of pesticides were different depending on geo-cultural and environmental specificities. Unilateral national directives hence hold little meaning for reducing pesticide use. To continue this work, we met farmers who were in the process of changing their farming practices. The objective was to focus on links between social representations and practices, as well as to study, from an applied point of view, the motivations to convert to organic farming and thus make recommendations for reducing phytosanitary product use. This second field study focused on three hypotheses regarding the circular relationship between representations and practices, by simultaneously studying three representations (pesticides, farming and risk) in two distinct groups (conventional farmers and converting farmers); it also enabled us to study the relation between several representations. Compared to conventional farmers, the social representations among converting farmers have changed. Moreover, we observed more overlap between the representations of pesticides, farming and risk among these farmers. Contrariwise, the social representations among conventional farmers presented the least connections and thus appeared more independent from one another. The social representations and practices of converting farmers have evolved and their representational “set” (pesticides, farming and risk) hold connections that should be further studied. Both groups of farmers (conventional or conversion) differed on all measures. Indeed, converting farmers were more anxious about pesticides, more involved in trying to reduce their use, and less attached to farmers in general. Hence, these results support the circular relationship between practices and representations suggested in this work.
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Armance Valette. Le rôle des pesticides dans le choix de la conversion bio chez les agriculteurs. Etude de la dynamique de changement des représentations et des pratiques.. Psychologie. Université de Nîmes, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017NIME0002⟩. ⟨tel-01724619⟩

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