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Men and women drivers: a study of social representations through prototypical and correspondence analysis

Résumé : Representations of men and women drivers and their implications are a major societal issue since several years. However, so far, few studies have demonstrated the precise content of these representations among adults. This study is based on the structural approach of social representations. The aim is to analyze the representations of men and women behind the wheel according to sex, age and social status, and to generate hypotheses about the central or peripheral status of the items revealed. According to an intergroup pattern, 414 French participants were asked to answer a questionnaire, using verbal association methodology (N=203 for men drivers, N=211 for women drivers). They were equally distributed on the basis of sex, age class (from 16 to 50 years-old and over) and social status. The thematic analysis revealed four large topics, including 16 subtopics in both cases. By comparing occurrence frequencies of these associations (salience in the representational field) and average ranks (importance given by subjects), the structural pattern of these representations was explored. Besides, differences and social anchors were analyzed through a correspondence analysis. The results seem to reflect the effect of social positions on the choices made to designate a man or a woman driver. Attitudes also seem to vary according to age: younger people referred more to risk and rules, whereas older individuals referred more to skills and expertise. The results are discussed through gender-related essentialism, in-group/out-group relations, age and socialization impacts in gender stereotypes associated with driving.
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Béatrice Degraeve, Marie-Axelle Granié, Karyn Pravossoudovitch. Men and women drivers: a study of social representations through prototypical and correspondence analysis. WIiT Paris 2014: Women's Issues in Transportation, 5th International Conference on Women's Issues in Transportation - Bridging the Gap, Apr 2014, Paris, France. 18p. ⟨hal-01973983⟩

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