Theme 2: More complete presentation

Theme 2 “Markets, Consumer Cultures, Autonomy and migrations”

Directors: Valérie-Inés DE LAVILLE (CEREGE) and Nelly ROBIN (MIGRINTER)

This axis brings together teams of researchers in the social and legal sciences; research at stake is characterized by a continuum of subjects of study that go from the individuals’ quest for cognitive and economic autonomy to address risks – such as health etc. – related to minors’ mobility and consumption, to the institutionalization of new forms of globalized financial markets prudential regulation. Each of the four research programmes that compose this line of research develops an original interdisciplinary work to deeply address a complex issue. For example:

  • Describe and analyse the evolution of the social, institutional and regulatory integration that enables the functioning of markets and the financing of economic actors;
  • Continue the detailed analysis of the measures of design and promotion of commercial offers, and their terms of ownership by the different consumer groups;
  • Analyse the strategic issues specific to financial institutions sectors, trade organizations and distribution networks or digital platforms;
  • Analyse the physiological, psychological and sociological determinants that allow an individual to improve his/her autonomy in several areas of life while aging;
  • Highlight the mutual influence of law and transnational circulations in a world where migration experiences grow increasingly complex, from local to global;
  • Study the co-production of objects and subjects in different exchange contexts (gift/barter/sale/use/neglect/destruction), while trying to account for the articulation of emotional attachment process and socialization;
  • Conduct a critical analysis of the ethical foundations of the company’s social responsibility (RSE) and the way it uses them to legitimize the management of their industrial activities and the value thereto created;
  • Question the meaning of a responsible research in Humanities, when it comes to the changes operated by markets in social link, intercultural exchange and human rights.

The various research programmes of this axis explore common concepts according to complementary reasoning, and from a theoretical point of view: Autonomy, Ethics and RSE Responsibility, Activity Theory, Risks, Regulation, Prevention, Public policies and regulation, Consumer Cultures, International Mobility and Human Rights. A major effort to clarify the epistemological anchors will continue to deepen the theoretical and conceptual joints identified as fundamental to the studied topics such as: analysis of systemic and individual risk, consumer socialization, corporate contribution to a consumer co-education, corporate social responsibility and human rights, history and political analysis of the transformation of institutions and trade practices, and distribution and the right as part of migration geography.


This emerging axis includes 52 professors-researchers who work on 4 interdisciplinary topics:


Directors: Daniel Goyeau (PR, CRIEF) and Sophie Nivoix (MCF-HDR, CEREGE)

Keywords: Equity Markets, Bond Markets, Financial Risk, Prudential Policy, Banking Risk, Corporate Financing, Participatory Financing, Financial Reporting.


Directors: Valérie-Inés de La Ville (CEREGE) and François Bobrie (CEREGE)

Keywords: History of Commerce, Consumer Cultures, Sociology of markets languages, Markets History and Sociology, Ethno-sociology of trading relationship, Socialization of individuals through market and consumption


Directors: Michel Audiffren (CERCA) and Romuald Bodin (GRESCO)

Keywords: Physical Activities, Professional Activities, Recreational Activities, Aging, Needs, Beliefs, Eating Habits, Life Course, Human Physiology, Social Psychology, Prevention, Health, Sociology, Social Support, Gerontological Scheme, Cognitive Aging


Directors: Nelly Robin (IRD, MIGRINTER) and Daniel Hernandez Senovilla (MIGRINTER)

Keywords: Minors, Migratory Routes, Migration Experience, Human Rights, Migrants Rights, International Law, Best Interest of the Child, Cartography.

Methodological approaches and study fields of the axis

The methodological approaches in Humanities research addressed by the programmes of the second axis rely on the expertise of the various laboratories which subjects of analysis stand at different levels – Macro (prudential regulations and policies), Méso (Business Social Responsibility, Organizational Field, Market Strategies) and Micro (Consumer Behaviour, Life Stories, Biographies, Cognitive Performances, Psycho-physiological Characteristics).

The historical dimension involves the collecting, digitizing and processing of specific archive materials (internal documents of companies, museum collections, testimonies of key actors, case law, legislation etc.). Econometric modelling can process a lot of data and integrate them in order to successfully implement simulations on the effects of different types of systemic risks. Psychometric modelling allows the measure of the degree of variance of different individual and environmental factors that explain behaviour.

Among the research methods mastered by the professors-researchers involved in this line of research, we should highlight:

  • The ethnological survey and participant observation;
  • The work of contextualization of archives and museum collections;
  • The semiotic survey on linguistic texts and multimedia corpus;
  • The comprehensive qualitative survey made with individual or group interviews;
  • The psychometric tests and scales used to measure the efficiency of various important cognitive functions in keeping one’s autonomy and decision making in consumer situations (e.g., executive functions, episodic memory);
  • The psychophysiological measures used to evaluate objectively the mental effort produced in a task (e.g., variability of heart rate);
  • The making of investigation protocols according to the product routes technique, the development of devices of cross-fertilization and informants’ process according to DELPHI techniques;
  • The transposition of cognitive psychology testing protocols to ordinary consumer situations, especially for seniors, children and teenagers;
  • The use of financial and banking databases (including Bankscope and Factset) to test economic and financial modelling on French and foreign markets;
  • Simulation from econometric modelling and test stimuli, thanks to new digital technologies;
  • The making of and management of information networks through the Internet, the design of protocols and questionnaires adapted to multicultural and multilingual investigation situations;
  • Innovative techniques of mobility and legislation digital simulation, applied to migratory routes.

This research capacity in taking advantage of a wide range of methodology is an element of differentiation we should capitalize on, and it strengthens our interest in pursuing this research through an interdisciplinary approach – which does not give up on any “explanation” nor scientific dialogue with other types of scientific aims. 

Originalities of this axis

This line of research 2 should contribute to promote a new scientific dynamism that will result in the organization of conferences on new themes, in the increase of publishing projects and the strengthening of the supervision of PhD students or young academics called to join the different laboratories involved in the research: CRIEF, CEREGE, MIGRINTER, CECOJI, GRESCO, CERCA and FORELL.

An important originality of this theme is to develop research projects in partnership with companies or organizations located in the regional territory: companies of the ‘Pôle Image Magelis’ (Magelis Image Hub of Activities), Academy of Poitiers Local Education Authority, Health Regional Agency, Nile Paper Museum, National Bureau of Inter-professionals in Cognac, CRIIT Computer… so as to have a direct transfer of knowledge to territorial actors, to contribute to territorial dynamics

Promoting actions – meant for the socio-economic world – are regularly organized in the form of round tables during professional events (International Festival of Comics, ALPHA Media Library, National Union of Edition, Mendes-France Conferences etc.). In this context, some initiatives are valued by the Athena alliance and the INSHS (Innovative SHS Exhibition).

On a scientific level, this axis of research is characterized by long-established and active partnerships with the National Archives on Employment, CEPED, IRD, INSERM, INSEE, CRESS etc., as well as a strong network of collaborations with foreign universities in North America, Europe and West Africa.

The promotion of research works includes organizing interdisciplinary work and study days at the MSHS, and also the editing of collective publications and special issues published in various national and international journals.


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