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Journal Articles Social Sciences Year : 2022

Social Times of Cooks in France


This article analyses how social times are structured for cooks in France’s hospitality sector. Observations, in situ studies in restaurants and 43 interviews constitute the primary data of this research. We first examine the context, with data on employment, food practices, the socialisation of cooks and work organisation. Then, we describe their time configurations. The results highlight a dual operating system, with an all-day work schedule on one side and a schedule with a daily break and mandatory free time on the other. The results show a variability in the practices of the cooks, with five different time configurations using the variables of work and break time. The break schedule can be interpreted as a time configuration for (1) unpaid overtime for the benefit of the employer, for (2) non-work obligations and as (3) a work schedule including free time at the individual’s disposal. The continuous workday can be seen as (4) a negation of sociability and time needs associated with the break schedule, and as (5) an opportunity to rebalance social times and synchronise with the private sphere.
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hal-03901805 , version 1 (16-12-2022)



Cyrille Laporte, Jens Thoemmes. Social Times of Cooks in France. Social Sciences, 2022, 11 (3), pp.109. ⟨10.3390/socsci11030109⟩. ⟨hal-03901805⟩
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