Research Project “Nutrition and Inequality”
Funding Body: State of Lower Austria
Participating first institutes: Institute of Rural History, Institute for Jewish History in Austria, Institute for the Study of Medieval and Early Modern Realia, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on the Consequences of War (Raabs branch)
Partner institute: Ilse Arlt Institute for Research into Social Inclusion, FH St. Pölten
Project Team: Mag. Ulrich Schwarz-Gräber (head of research project), Dr. Bernhard Bachinger, Dr. Elisabeth Gruber, Gabriele Drack-Mayer, MA, Dr. Christoph Lind, Dr. Ingrid Matschinegg, FH-Prof. Mag. Dr. Michaela Moser, Prof. Peter Pantucek-Eisenbacher, Veronika Reidinger, BA MA, Mag. Dr. Julia Köstenberger
Description of Research Project:
Discussions on social inequality have received a new impetus in recent years, both within and outside of scholarship. Inequality along the lines of class, gender, ethnicity, and other social categories is expressed in a multitude of forms, one of which is unequal access to nutrition. The quantitative and qualitative nature of the nutrition to which individuals and groups have access on a day-to-day basis as well as varying dietary practices are closely related to their positions in society. Dietary practices, however, do not only point towards people’s standing within society, but also to how they understand themselves and understand others.
The research project “Nutrition and Inequality” examines social inequality through the prism of nutrition. Sub-projects based at each of the five participating research institutes examine undernourishment and malnutrition of marginalized groups from the late medieval period into the present day from a variety of complementary perspectives. The overarching aim is the further development of innovative research approaches allowing for a combination of interdisciplinarity in social and cultural studies with a long-term perspective. Through the acquisition of new source materials relating to social and material nutritional impoverishment, through mutual work on new methods and concepts, and through the concentration of various competencies and international networks, the aim is to position the social and cultural study of nutrition research in Lower Austria as a widely visible research field in a European context and as a basis for further research projects and collaborations.
Simultaneously, this research project aims to generate impulses for dissemination activities between scholarship and the broader public through exhibitions and museum concepts, in order to enrich public discussion surrounding social inequalities through the example of nutrition, which affects each and every one of us.
- Ingrid Matschinegg, Sarah Pichlkastner, Institute for Medieval and Early Modern Material Culture / University of Salzburg:
Breadcrumbs for the Poor? Inequality Reflected in Institutionalized Food Supplies for the Poor in the Late Middle Ages and Early Modern Period.
- Christoph Lind, Institute for Jewish History in Austria:
Kosher During the War: Food Provisions for the Jewish Population of Lower Austria from 1914 to 1918.
- Ulrich Schwarz, Institute of Rural History:
Surviving Times of Crisis 1914–1950: Focus Nutrition
- Bernhard Bachinger, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on the Consequences of War:
Being a Civilian Forced Laborer and Displaced Person (DP) in an Impoverished Society: The Nutritional Supply of Forced Laborers and DPs in Lower Austria under National Socialism and the Soviet Occupation (1939–1955).
- Peter Pantuček-Eisenbacher, Gabriele Drack-Mayer, Ilse Arlt Institute for Research into Social Inclusion, FH St. Pölten:
Nutrition – An Approach from the Study of Social Work: Biographies of Food