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From private to public solutions: How collectively oriented arguments emerge in as part of discussions about the new French electricity meters

Abstract : International efforts to reduce CO2 emissions also include efficiency goals, associated for example with better strategies for energy production and consumption. This goal is presently being addressed in France through the installation of smart meters. The theory of social representations is here used as a theoretical background to understand how climate-related arguments – justifying wider changes at the policymaking level – and arguments advocating individual behavioural change are combined to convey meaning to the new electricity meters. This study focused on the qualitative content produced by groups of citizens from the two French communities where the new meters were first installed: Château-Renault (rural) and Lyon (urban). The three participating groups met each in three different occasions, between which they kept a diary where they registered concrete behaviour changes and barriers to behaviour change. Group sessions were tape-recorded and content analysed. The discussions and the material generated by the groups provided very concrete elements on how the participants tried to make sense of the meter device itself and the policy goals, in relation to their daily and social life. The exchanges between participants seemed to fit into three main dialogical pairs, or themata: collective vs. individual (daily life); private (my behaviour) vs. public spheres (others’ behaviours); and consumption: individualist vs. collectivist. The collective elaboration throughout the group sessions reinforced the empowerment of the groups and led to considering more collectively oriented approaches in contrast to the prevailing individualistic lifestyles.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01443217
Contributor : Raquel Bertoldo <>
Submitted on : Sunday, January 22, 2017 - 8:08:39 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:25:26 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-01443217, version 1

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Raquel Bertoldo, Marc Poumadère. From private to public solutions: How collectively oriented arguments emerge in as part of discussions about the new French electricity meters. 13th International Conference on Social Representations (CIRS), Sep 2016, Marseille, France. ⟨hal-01443217⟩

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