Extension of Emotional Communities

Rosenwein establishes, as my classmates have discussed, her view favoring a narrative that takes into account the complexity of emotions and emotional communities rather than viewing emotional history as a “grand narrative.” Having always been interested in health and dietary concerns I thought about how much of an effect quality of life and diet would have had on emotional communities throughout the ages as well as the extent emotional communities in this respect vary in modern times.

While it seems like a stretch, emotional communities can be built around diet. Those who choose to be vegetarian have chosen to enter into a certain emotional community and one that has an immense effect. In this same respect, emotional┬ácommunities are also built around access to food, or lack thereof. In our relative society we cannot begin to comprehend the complexity of emotion surrounding starvation as we have never felt the effect of this. Malnutrition and starvation in the Middle Ages was a very prevalent and devastating occurrence, building sets of emotional communities that could foster the “childlike” behavior that early emotional historians believed of the Middle Ages. This again reiterates the importance of placing emotions in context while recognizing they are experienced by all.

One thought on “Extension of Emotional Communities

  1. This is a very intriguing point. Also always interested in health and diet, I do think food can play a huge factor in the emotional stability, ideas, and socially acceptable behavior of the time. Last semester I actually took a class here called “Sociology of Food.” Your comment reminds me of the majority of issues we discussed during that class. It is still seen today in under privileged homes and communities the often negative effect and poor quality of life simply based on food. There has been an ongoing debate about building a grocery store in North Charleston. While the communities up there are desperate to have a place to shop besides Wal-Mart for their food, no grocery chain wants to build in that area. Due to that, these families who live in the North Charleston part of town are denied access to fresh food and other food options. School gardens are now taking popularity to help with this problem so at least children can learn to grow, cook, and have at least one healthy meal a day. The sad truth though is millions of people are still starving in this country and must face the emotional toll of not knowing where their next meal will come from.

    In addition, we watched a documentary about eating healthy on food stamps and if it was possible. The couple who did the study had such limited amount of food during the month trial, they became exhausted, irritable, easily angered, or as some would call “childlike and immature.” Their resemblance to what is described as Medieval emotions in this article was solely based on their food intake and availability. Food choices and availability greatly shaped and formed emotional communities both in the Medieval Ages and is still an ongoing, prominent problem in today’s world.

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