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Journal Articles Appetite Year : 2020

Meal Synchronization and Commensality in Santiago and Paris


People eat on a regular schedule, at times that are shared within a society, and with others. While this phenomenon is theoretically formulated in sociological literature, few empirical studies have tested it, and the available evidence is incomplete. Against this backdrop, this article analyzes the association between meal synchronization and commensality using representative survey data in Santiago and Paris. We hypothesize that commensality influences having meals on a regular schedule because sharing a meal with others needs synchronization. Nevertheless, the strength of this association might be different across the two metropolises given the singular social value of gastronomy in French culture. Using logistic and multinomial regression models, we find that in both metropolises, sharing meals with others more frequently is positively associated with having meals in synchronized timeslots. Next, we find differences between Santiago and Paris. In Paris, commensality is associated with synchronization in all three shared timeslots, and in Santiago, in the midday and the evening slots. Besides, in Paris, sociodemographic characteristics have a stronger effect on synchronization than in Santiago. We interpret those differences as explained by variations in the social norms around food practices. Ultimately, our findings contribute to challenging the thesis of food modernity from an empirical and global perspective.
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Dates and versions

hal-03041427 , version 1 (04-12-2020)



Claudia Giacoman, Anne Lhuissier, Coline Ferrant, Ignacio Bórquez, Denisse Devilat. Meal Synchronization and Commensality in Santiago and Paris. Appetite, 2020, 159, 105065. ⟨10.1016/j.appet.2020.105065⟩. ⟨hal-03041427⟩
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