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La qualité vitivinicole en Languedoc : étude anthropologique de la consommation, des pratiques professionnelles et des représentations du terroir

Abstract : Based on the case of four Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in Languedoc : “Terrasses du Larzac” , “Minervois” , “Fitou” , “Corbières” , located in the departments of Hérault and Aude in southeast France, this research entends to contribute to the study of the social construction of authenticity, understood from the perspective of the socio-anthopology of art. It assesses how local wine quality upgrading has taken place since the 1980’s, after a century of wine-producing crises. Wine quality is an important topic to the agricultural and œnological fields as much as the social sciences. Relying on my own experience in vine growing, wine production and commercialization, and on intense ethnographical fieldwork in these zones, while simultaneously in contact with a wide range of workers in vine growing and wine making, selling and prescribing, and with wine consumers, I have attempted to understand the dynamics these actors impulse beyond the institutional and non-institutional procedures related to the PDO to assert the authenticity of the wines they promote and drink. This research brings to light the plurality of the initiatives for the recognition of the excellence of the products and the various views about what wine represents as a cultural or artistic object. It shows the various perceptions about wine quality and more precisely the sensitive registers that social actors from the wine industry (producers, specifiers, salesmen in wine-shops, consumers) develop around the notion of terroir as general rating categories playing a crucial role in appreciating the authenticity of Languedoc wines. It can thus be noted that professional networks are built through the sharing of aesthetic values related to what terroir is, values that customers also recognize. The study explores the modalities of participation in the wine sector and the valorization of jobs in that sector through Pierre Bourdieu theories (1984) and the sociology of artistic work (Menger, 2009). It demonstrates that they are similar to those described in artistic professions and give access to material and symbolic gratification. The research reveals how careers in the wine sector are organized according to the contemporary art aesthetic paradigm (Heinich, 2014) and to the modern mutations of labor.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, October 6, 2021 - 10:43:09 AM
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Caroline Sénéchal. La qualité vitivinicole en Languedoc : étude anthropologique de la consommation, des pratiques professionnelles et des représentations du terroir. Sociologie. Université Paul Valéry - Montpellier III, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021MON30006⟩. ⟨tel-03367329⟩

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