Lay representations of an economic global crisis among different Italian and Romanian social groups

Anna Liguori, Roberto Fasanelli, Ida Galli, Luminița Iacob


This research has been conducted inside the theoretical framework of Social Representations. By interviewing Italian and Rumanian subjects belonging different social groups we examined how “expert” and “lay” people face the unfamiliar phenomenon of the economic crisis. Starting from the SR’s Structural Approach, data were collected through a multi-method strategy. Four groups of participants (N=120 for each country; group/gender balanced) were employed: university students, mid-level bank clerks, shopkeepers, and laypeople. Data were treated with rang/frequency, similitude analysis and mono/multivariate statistical analysis. Discussion focuses on the relationships between culture, group affiliation, SRs of crisis and economic behaviors. The main findings reveal culture and group affiliation differences in the ways participants define and foresee strategies to face the crisis. In both Italian and Romanian samples, differences were founded among expert and lay groups. Italian and Romanian SRs, differ with reference to the meaning of the salient elements and their organization.

social representations, expertise, lay knowledge, culture, economic crisis

Luminiţa Iacob – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences E-mail:

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