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Title: "Are they just checking our obesity or what?": The healthism discourse and rural young women
Authors: Lee, Jessica
Macdonald, Doune
Keywords: Health
Fitness
Rural
Young women
Healthism
Bourdieu
Obesity
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: © Routledge (Taylor & Francis)
Citation: LEE, J. and MACDONALD, D., 2010. "Are they just checking our obesity or what?": the healthism discourse and rural young women. Sport, Education and Society, 15 (2), pp.203-219.
Abstract: This paper makes use of critical discourse analysis and Bourdieu’s theoretical framework to explore rural young women’s meanings of health and fitness and how the healthism discourse is perpetuated through their experiences in school physical education. The young women’s own meanings are explored alongside interview data from their school physical education head of department. The healthism discourse was evident in the way that the young women spoke of physical activity, health, fitness and their bodies. They viewed health and fitness as being important to control body shape and adhered to a stereotypical feminine appearance as ideal. The data also illustrates how a school Health and Physical Education Head of Department’s own engagements with the healthism discourse and the school’s Health and Physical Education curriculum shaped the young women’s understandings of health and fitness and their bodies. Data presented in this paper are drawn from an Australian longitudinal, qualitative project involving interview and visual collection methods. The longitudinal nature of the data adds to existing research by demonstrating the durability of the healthism discourse as it is perpetuated through physical education even up to two years post-school. Understanding how the healthism discourse is reproduced through social structures such as the school, and how it perpetuates traditional meanings and approaches to physical activity has important implications for the generation of physical activity and health promotion initiatives.
Description: This article was published in the journal, Sport, Education and Society [© Routledge (Taylor & Francis)]. The definitive version is available at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573321003683851
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573321003683851
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/6500
ISSN: 1357-3322
1470-1243
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences)

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