Social Change through a Southwest French Wine Cooperative

Abstract

The French government since the early twentieth century has provided assistance to small independent proprietors of wine to form cooperatives. By focusing on the Sigoulès cooperative, located in the southwest of France, this essay shows how wine cooperatives of the Aquitaine institutionalized the capitalist division of labor and its mode of social control. Not only is the significance of capitalist markets and social divisions between wine growers highlighted, but new scientific technologies of wine production are related to social control through the medium of culture. It is concluded that the Sigoulès cooperative, as well as others, serves primarily pragmatic rather than political ends, while enabling small proprietors of wine to compete on a national and international scale.

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Ulin, R., (1985) “Social Change through a Southwest French Wine Cooperative”, Ethnologia Europaea 16(1), p.25-38. doi: https://doi.org/10.16995/ee.1403

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Robert Ulin (Allegheny College, Meadville)

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