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Insight(s) "On" and "By" Food to Reverse and Understand How Generational Relations Are Reversed: The Example of Reverse Food Socialization

Anne Dupuy

Nutrition is one of the rare fields shared by all generations. This generational pooling, as it were, translates into a certain level of interconnectivity in the dietary transmission relationships and, indeed, presents a remarkable site from which to observe and to analyze socialization processes. Examined in the traditional manner, that is to say vertically down from the adult generations to that of the children, the perspectives offered in the present article, using a nutritional socio-anthropology, will be concerned not only with what children do with what they receive, but above all with how they behave, sometimes in reaction, within their nutrient family circle. Reversed food socialization, variations in educational tension levels, the impact of fidelity or affective relationships on symbolic filiations, feelings of parental success or failure, the maintenance of traditions, the impact of dietary refusals on parental transmission structures: all these factors constitute ways of perceiving and being affected by food that change the ways in which the relationships between generations are perceived and, also, in understanding how children contribute to changing generational relationships.