“I have the feeling that we never do well enough”. Positioning in a landscape of normative discourses
Résumé Paper presented in the double symposium "Measured and imagined lives: experiences of development within constraints"; Chairs: Pernille Hviid, University of Copenhagen & Tania Zittoun, University of Neuchâtel

Abstract: In the WEIRD (western, educated, industrial, rich and democratic) countries (Henrich et al., 2010), a large majority of people regularly consumes products of animal origin. Examining the justification for meat consumption among those who eat it, researchers identified what they call the 4Ns: meat consumption is presented as necessary, normal, nice and natural (Piazza et al., 2015). In that sense, vegetarianism constitutes a deviant behavior to this norm (Boyle, 2011), that provokes reactions as it questions the taken-for-granted normality and necessity of meat consumption (Larue, 2015). However, the issue of meat consumption also intersects with many other normative discourses, such as being an ethical consumer, being a hedonist or being coherent in one’s choices.
In this paper, I examine the way people who recently changed their foodway regarding food of animal origin navigate among these different discourses. In order to do so, I will draw mainly on Benson’s theorization of the self as a locative system that allows humans to orient and position themselves in material and symbolic landscapes (Benson, 2001). Analyzing data collected through narrative interviews and a dialogic experiment, I will examine how participants, in the positioning process, engage with these norms and how they measure themselves as doing well enough, exaggerating or failing. I argue that Benson’s approach is a useful tool for analyzing the positioning in a specific normative landscape, but that it tends to overlook the question of the resources and conditions that make a dialogue with the normative discourses possible.
Citation Gfeller, F. (2019). “I have the feeling that we never do well enough”. Positioning in a landscape of normative discourses. Presented at ISTP Conference 2019, Copenhagen, DK.
Type Présentation (Anglais)
Date 19-8-2019
Evénement ISTP Conference 2019 (Copenhagen, DK)
Liée au projet Positioning processes around vegetarianism. A psychologic...