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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The Onset of Social Class Tastes among Children of Migrants in France: Competing Food Patterns in the Context of Migration

  • Author(s): Tichit, Christine
  • et al.

This paper explores social variations in food acculturation in the context of migration. While the literature on this issue has documented changes in eating practices among adults, this study focuses on the children of migrants. The research is based on data collected among elementary and middle school students, and relies on an approach combining focus group discussions with a survey questionnaire. Results reveal that food preferences among children of migrants are more strongly influenced by their family social background than by their ethnic characteristics. Main findings confirm Pierre Bourdieu’s theory about social distinction as more involved in social reproduction than in ethno-cultural reproduction. However this social reproduction doesn’t follow a singular common pattern. The coexistence of competing food patterns among migrants highlights the plurality of minority cultures resisting the dominant norm, as Claude Grignon has already shown about the French working class.

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