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Title: Why do humans need to do battle? Social representations of alternative pest control approaches
Authors: Gauthier, Elisabeth
West, Gale E.
Handfield, Anne-Marie
Keywords: Pesticides
Issue Date: 2013-02
Publisher: CIRST
Abstract: Alternatives to synthetic pesticides are often presented by experts and policy makers as responses to citizens' concerns about these products. However, few studies have examined how these alternatives are conceptualized by citizens. Using social representation (SR) theory and focus groups, we examined SRs of biopesticides, biological control, and integrated pest management (IPM) among Canadian citizens. Strongly influenced by terminology at first, SRs were further elaborated through discursive interaction. The three concepts were differentially anchored according to the antinomies “natural versus man-made”, “protection of, versus antagonism towards, Nature” and “protection of Nature versus economic survival”. There is a symbolic parallel between biopesticides—and, to a lesser extent, biological control—and synthetic pesticides as human interventions antagonistic towards Nature. Conversely, the anchoring of IPM in an economic survival imperative paradoxically rehabilitates synthetic pesticides. Implications for communication about alternative pest control approaches are discussed.
ISBN: 978-2-923333-72-4
Appears in Collections:Notes de recherche du CIRST

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