Emilie Coutant: sociologist of the imaginary and company director
The latest addition to the FEDE’s Panel of Experts, Emilie Coutant is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Angers and the University of Montpellier (IRSA-CRI research lab) and writer-editor for Cahiers Européens de l’Imaginaire (CNRS Editions).
Find out more below!
Can you tell us about your studies and your current job role?
I did my PhD in Sociology at Paris Descartes University. My thesis concerned how masculinity has changed over time. Afterwards I decided to become an independent sociologist and I founded my company Tendance Sociale in 2008. I combine my role as company manager with teaching and research in universities.
How would you describe the role of an independent sociologist?
Freelance sociologists are a new phenomenon. It’s a profession that applies academic research and skills to the work place: companies, institutions, organisations, markets, consumers etc.
Drawing on my socio-anthropological knowledge and my expertise concerning social trends, fashions and the contemporary imaginary, at Tendance Sociale I work with brands, institutions and organisations: Cacharel, La Française Des Jeux, the University of Helsinski and the French CNRS are just a few examples. I am now at a stage where I am recruiting staff to help manage the workload.
What kind of services do you provide?
I monitor consumer behaviour, identify emerging social phenomena, predict future trends and analyse what brands evoke in terms of the imaginary. I offer advice on events strategy and on communications strategy more generally.
Tendance Sociale aims to imagine future perspectives and trends for its clients and offer guidance in designing products that correspond to the contemporary social imaginary.
By understanding a given group of consumers, a social practice or the imaginary of a given market, it becomes possible to create, alter or transform a brand’s image