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  • Print publication year: 2018
  • Online publication date: March 2018

Chapter 23 - Hunger and Food Insecurity

from Part III - Problems of Discrimination and Inequality


In this chapter I examine hunger and food insecurity as social problems. I focus on these concerns, not as purely biological, environmental, physiological, or natural phenomena, but as being rooted in social and structural factors such as conflict, culture, development, the economy, globalization, population-demography, politics, and social stratification, among other sociological issues. From this approach, famines as the classic case of hunger, food insecurity, and deprivation in their most severe form would not be viewed as strictly the result of natural disasters or drought but as the result of social conditions that make them a human-induced catastrophe tied to politics and inequality. I begin by presenting the conceptualization of hunger and food insecurity, addressing the complexity of the issues and their multiple forms and ways of discussing them. I then provide a snapshot of the state of hunger in the world and trends that have resulted in the current condition. I close with a discussion of hunger and food insecurity in the context of what comprises social problems and consider their intersectionality with other global concerns.

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