Social Representations of Insects as Food: An Explorative-Comparative Study among Millennials and X-Generation Consumers
Department of Social Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80138 Naples, Italy
Department of Political Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80138 Naples, Italy
Department of Agricultural Sciences, University of Naples “Federico II”, 80055 Portici (NA), Italy
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Received: 4 September 2020 / Revised: 18 September 2020 / Accepted: 22 September 2020 / Published: 24 September 2020
In recent years, a remarkable number of studies have investigated entomophagy from different perspectives. Nevertheless, the theoretical framework of social representations (SRs) has never been used. SRs are organized sets of opinions, knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about a social object—such as novel foods—co-constructed and shared by a social group. The present research is the first attempt to study entomophagy in the theoretical and methodological framework of SRs. We followed a double trajectory corresponding to two different ways to imagine the contribution of SRs to entomophagy studies. The first one focuses on the role of SRs in the social construction of meanings attached to entomophagy and on their introduction in individuals’ and groups’ thinking frameworks. The second proposes SRs as predictors, even if non-deterministic, of consumers’ behaviors. The results stimulate consideration of social knowledge and cultural variables in food studies using the theoretical framework of SRs.