Hunger – ein Bedürfnis zwischen Politik, Physiologie und persönlicher Erfahrung (Deutschland, 19. und 20. Jahrhundert)

Thoms, Ulrike

Hunger has never been a stable term. How people have understood and defined it, changed over time, along with a changing understanding of the body, its functions, physiological mechanisms and its needs. The paper follows these changes in a long-term multiperspective approach for the last two centuries. It argues, that hunger first was understood as a dangerous feeling, that eventually developed political power. To define hunger by physiology can thus be meant and understood as a means to articulate bodily needs and to point to the necessity of their satisfaction. Nonetheless, these definitions of hunger are not neutral or objective, moreover they may not be used for certain groups of people or under certain economic or social conditions, they may even be counterproductive, as they reduce empathy with the hungry.

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Thoms, Ulrike: Hunger – ein Bedürfnis zwischen Politik, Physiologie und persönlicher Erfahrung (Deutschland, 19. und 20. Jahrhundert). 2016.

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