Please explain "faire ses preuves d'intégration au modèle social dominant". I don't understand what "Gillette" means here, either.

Pour avoir le droit à la parole, il fallait d'abord faire ses preuves d'intégration au modèle social dominant, « entrer » dans l'enseignement, à la Poste ou à la SNCF, chez Michelin, Gillette, dans les assurances : « gagner sa vie ». (Les Années, Annie Ernaux, pages 78)

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    Gillette is a brand name. What exactly don't you understand after using a dictionary? faire ses preuves. Intégration, modèle social dominant are all transparent words... and DeepL gives a correct translation of the sentence.
    – None
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 9:27
  • Thanks, None, but what is "to prove their integration into the dominant social model"? Thanks again. --- tk
    – t k
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 11:51
  • They had to succeed socially by integrating the dominant social model, i.e. getting a job as a teacher, or the Post Office, or the Railways (teachers, Post Office and Railway clerks were at that time – 50s and 60s – civil servants or equivalent) or for a big industrial company, was considered a good stable job for the lower middle classes.
    – None
    Commented Dec 11, 2023 at 12:53
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    @tk What exactly don't you understand in the sentence? And what do you understand? Search and research. Sharing your research helps everyone. french.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-ask Commented Dec 13, 2023 at 8:20

1 Answer 1


The whole sentence means that: if you want to speak and that people will consider your word seriously, you have to get a job that proves a certain social assimilation. The listed professions prove strong stability (even if lowly salary) in state companies like National education, Post or big and well known companies like Michelin ...

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