Determinants of food individualism in Dakar : from independence desire to economic solidarity - Université Toulouse - Jean Jaurès Access content directly
Conference Papers Year : 2015

Determinants of food individualism in Dakar : from independence desire to economic solidarity


In Dakar (Senegal), meals are traditionally at home around a common dish. Hours and composition are decided by the head of household and/or the cook. Others household members have the choice of eating or abstain from eating. However, urban lifestyles see the emergence of new forms of commensality further from family and sometimes more individual. Street food, restaurants and fast foods represent opportunities to eat outside the home. Can we speak of individualization? What are the determinants of this "food individualization"? How choices, outside of family constraints, are they operated by eaters? A qualitative study including 29 individual semi-structured interviews and 22 participative observations of food sessions (supply, preparation and consumption) and a quantitative study - 800 questionnaires with eaters - realized in Dakar, allow us to present first answers to these issues. This presentation, not exhaustive, of some determinants of individualism allows to capture the complexity of the phenomenon. The individualization is characterized by taking into account the own motivations of individuals in the food decision. The choice previously driven primarily by the norms issued by the society, becomes an individual question. Everyone can choose what he eats, when he eats, with whom he eats. However, the choice is always done in a social context and is never completely detached from social constraints. In Dakar, there is a transformation of food decision model towards individualization but always in a social system imposing strong constraints. Eater is set between free choice and social constraints. Individualization seems initiated today without lead to a "food individualism." Our study shows that food choices are made in a context of rising prices for staple food of the Dakar diet: rice, imported and dependent on the world food market and fish, that local access is compromised by the overfishing and export policies. In this context, the decision to eat out can come from a desire for independence vis-à-vis the family, but can also participate in a solidarity strategy for reducing the pressure on the family dish - the number of eaters being lesser.
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hal-01212885 , version 1 (07-10-2015)


  • HAL Id : hal-01212885 , version 1


Julie Leport. Determinants of food individualism in Dakar : from independence desire to economic solidarity. Otras maneras de comer, Observatorio de la alimentacion & Fundacion Alicia, Jun 2015, Barcelona, Espagne. pp.1364-1368. ⟨hal-01212885⟩
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