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Food-Related Benefits and Obligations with the In-Laws of the Mixed Couple. French Daughters- and Sons-in-law Among their Taiwanese Allies

Fong-Ming Yang

Through the context of meals taken in common, this article studies the relationship between the in-laws and the spouse of the couple, in mixed couple situations. The author carried out research with French-Taiwanese couples living in Taiwan, in order to analyze the differentiated commensality (or table-companionship) according to the different status of the French daughters-in-law and sons-in-law (lover, common law partner and spouse) in his Taiwanese family. What emerges from this is that the hospitality, which shows itself by the sharing of the meal between a foreign son-in-law and his in-laws, is rich in symbolic, material, and emotional meaning.