Reference : Paths to wine connoisseurship. Inter-relations of public norms and domestic appropria...
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Paths to wine connoisseurship. Inter-relations of public norms and domestic appropriations within wine consumption
Reckinger, Rachel mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Identités, Politiques, Sociétés, Espaces (IPSE) >]
European Sociological Association Consumption Research Network Interim Meeting 

from 05-09-2012 to 08-09-2012
European Sociological Association Consumption Research Network
[en] Contribution :
Wine consumption is becoming ever more culturalised and reflexive. I propose a micro-sociological approach to contemporary œnophile discursive practices, in Luxembourg, by concentrating on their inherent normativity (moral and aesthetic) and ordinary appropriation (ethical and hedonistic). The empirical context for this articulation are wine tasting lessons ‘for beginners’, which convey a specific type of normativity.

The publics of this institution – mainly male and affluent – have both ‘operational’ and ‘hedonistic’ motivations. Appropriations of the œnophile normativity are reactive – either positively or negatively : interviewees adopt tactical usages of specific dispositions and of tactical courses of action, related to vertical differenciations (social trajectory and position), but mainly to horizontal ones (milieus, interactions and experiments carried out through various projects of subjectivation).

These dispositions and tactics are linked to the domestic œnophile logics of action – which are active and strategic. Contrasting with the œnophile normativity (focusing on wine), ordinary discursive practices relate to preoccupations with one’s personal and social life, rather than to wine. Nonetheless, it is the aesthetic-based œnophile canonisation that contains essential prerequisites of subjectivation, even if it is appropriated in a hedonistic, socio- or egocentric way. This shows the consubstantial and flexible interweaving of norms and pleasure, leading to a personal and social empowerment (with a potential that is mainly ethical, but also distinctive), via one particular food item.

Theoretical framework :
Foucault (discursive practices, governmentality, ethics/morals), Carré (motivations), Bourdieu (dispositions, distinction), De Certeau (strategy/tactics) and Dubet (logics of action).

Methodology :
Grounded theory (Strauss/Glaser), in-depth interviews and participant observation.

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