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‘‘Cohabiter en cuisine’’ : Le genre dans l’intégration conjugale alimentaire des jeunes adultes

Abstract : Based on English speaking papers, this PhD dissertation describes the process of food conjugal integration, which means sharing food housework and norms within childless cohabitating couples of young adults. It also describes how gendered conjugal relationships develop during this process. It brings conjugal construction into question, as well as the part that food plays in it, its specific features among young adults and how it takes part in the production of gender.Life-course interviews were made with both partners of 26 childless heterosexual couples of young adults (18-30), who recently moved in together. Biographical notices, purchase receipts and grocery lists were collected to supplement the interviews and to observ the daily practices.The study first shows that « conjugal integration » begins earlier in the field of food activities than in other conjugal fields, because some foods tasks, like eating out, are socially valued. Sharing domestic foodwork begins later, in particular when the partners move in together, because living together goes together with new conjugal norms. Those findings supports previous sociological findings, but also implies to pay more attention to the social value of tasks when describing their conjugal integration, and to distinguish between conjugal integration of practices, conjugal integration of norms and change of routines.The analysis later highlights that common life interlock a socializing process, creating what can be called a « conjugal nomos » regarding food, that is to say a world of common eating norms shared by the partners. Among young adults, this conjugal socializing process supports the recapture of parental and publics eating norms.The analysis also proves that partners nowadays still share roles and tasks regarding domestic foodwork. Each partner specializes in some aspects of domestic foodwork. As a result of egalitarianism, the partners take account of their respective preferences, competences and requirements to share tasks, which they see as subjective, but which are in fact the product of previous gendered socializations.After this description of the process of conjugal food integration, the analysis specifies the « conjugal gendered order » regarding food among young adults. It shows that food consumption is gendered (due to bodily and health gendered norms and to the gendering of certain kinds of food) and that cohabiting makes women fooding and men fooding more alike, but at the price of gendered worries and execution of tasks. However, the division of foodwork seems less caricatural than expected. This visible decrease of the « traditionnal » division of foodwork may mean the transformation of gender as well as the specificity of early stages of the family cycle. Last, the analysis looks at the assumption of the « degendering » of cooking.Lastly, this research shows how gendered food conjugal practices depends on class and age. It shows that class and age affects how much the partners merge their eating habits, but also affects their reciprocal influence on their food consumpion and the division of foodwork. For instance, men who commit more in food tasks often have inferior degrees and working status or are younger than their partners.
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Angèle Fouquet. ‘‘Cohabiter en cuisine’’ : Le genre dans l’intégration conjugale alimentaire des jeunes adultes. Sociologie. Université Paris-Saclay, 2021. Français. ⟨NNT : 2021UPASB054⟩. ⟨tel-03483883⟩

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