Female and male domestic partners in wine-grape farms (Cognac, France): conjugal asymmetry and gender discrimination in family businesses
Bessière, Céline (2014), Female and male domestic partners in wine-grape farms (Cognac, France): conjugal asymmetry and gender discrimination in family businesses, The History of the Family, 19, 3, p. 341-357. 10.1080/1081602X.2014.934880
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameThe History of the Family
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Abstract (EN)Agriculture in contemporary France is dominated by family businesses. On Cognac wine-grape farms, training for the occupation and taking over the business is the result of parents' efforts to socialize one (or more) of their children. This long-term socialization varies by gender. Farm property, professional skills, and the status of business head are in most cases transmitted to male heirs. Female heirs suffer discrimination in their families. If they have one or more brothers, their families take it as a given that a male heir ought to inherit the farm, and that female heirs are ‘not interested.’ To elucidate these phenomena, I will compare two asymmetrical situations, ‘ordinary cases’ – when a male heir heads the grape-growing business – vs. ‘exceptional cases,’ when a female heir is farm head. For the first, I will show that female domestic partners' off-farm salaried labor does not put an end to on-farm productive or financial cooperation in the couple. For the second situation, I show that male domestic partners, working on or off the farm, are always problematic, presenting another obstacle for women wishing to take over a family grape-growing business. By focusing analysis on the asymmetry of female and male domestic partners in family businesses, this article thus makes an empirical contribution to knowledge of discrimination against female business heads.
Subjects / Keywordsunpaid work; conjugal relationship; family business; entrepreneurship; gender; Inégalité des genres; Rapport masculin/féminin; Economie domestique; Entreprises familiales; Études sur le genre; Etablissements vinicoles; Exploitations agricoles; Sociologie de l'agriculture
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