The Socio-Representational Construction of Universal Basic Income in the French Context: Effects of Politico-Ideological Anchors

Keywords: Universal Basic Income, Social Representations, Political Orientation, Ideology, Social Order


As a new, complex and controversial object, we studied Universal Basic Income (UBI) through the Theory of Social Representations (TSR). Our study aimed to explore the representational field spontaneously associated with the UBI in a French sample and how it was structured according to their political and ideological anchors. Our results showed that the UBI was represented through some analogies with the existing social minima, some beliefs and values suggesting societal progress but also suggesting some fear of a weakening of the capitalist economic order. Moreover, splitting our sample based on the political orientation of participants, they seemed to represent UBI based on principles specific to each of their ideological traditions. The potentially polemical character of the socio-representational construction of the UBI and its potential implications in terms of maintaining or challenging the social order are therefore discussed.

Author Biographies

Samuel Dupoirier, Aix-Marseille University

Samuel DUPOIRIER is a PhD student in social psychology at Aix-Marseille University. Through the example of the socio-representational construction of the Universal Basic Income, he is interested in the links between ideology and social representations and this implications in terms of legitimizing or challenging the social order.

Christophe Demarque, Aix-Marseille University

Christophe DEMARQUE is assistant professor in social psychology in Aix-Marseille University. His research is based on a psychosocial approach to the relationship to time in the field of work and the environment.

Marc Souville, Aix-Marseille University

Marc SOUVILLE holds a PhD in social psychology and an accreditation to supervise research. Since 2015, he has been a professor of social psychology of work and organizations at Aix-Marseille University, where he is in charge of the master's program in social psychology of work and organizations. A member of the Social Psychology Laboratory of Aix-Marseille University, his research focuses on the analysis of representations and practices of health and rescue professionals as well as on occupational health issues.

Thémis Apostolidis, Aix-Marseille University

Thémis APOSTOLIDIS is Full Professor of Social Psychology (Aix-Marseille University, France). His research focuses on the socio-symbolic and ideological aspects of social representations, the psychosocial factors involved in individual and social behaviors, and methodological triangulation. He has published several articles and book chapters on the application of psychosocial theories to the analysis of social actors' attitudes towards health and illness.

Dimitrios Lampropoulos, University of Lausanne

Dimitrios LAMPROPOULOS holds a PhD in Psychology from Aix-Marseille University and is a Junior Lecturer at the University of Lausanne, with a research interest in the social conditions, stigma and social representations of people with mental disorders. He has published several scholarly articles in international journals, including Critical Social Policy, Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, and Psychiatry Research.

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