Body Knowledge and Control: Studies in the Sociology of Physical Education and Health

Body Knowledge and Control: Studies in the Sociology of Physical Education and Health

Body Knowledge and Control: Studies in the Sociology of Physical Education and Health

Body Knowledge and Control: Studies in the Sociology of Physical Education and Health

Synopsis

Today'snbsp;societynbsp;is obsessednbsp;with the body, its size, shape and healthiness. Governments, business and the popular media, spend and earn fortunes encouraging populations to get healthy, eat properly, exercise daily and get thin. But how are currentnbsp;social trends and attitudes towards the body reflected in the curriculum of schools, in the teaching of Physical Education and Health? How do teachers and health professionals influence young people's experiences of their own and others' bodies? Is health education liberating or merely another form of regulation and social control? Drawing together some of the latest research on the body and schooling, Body Knowledge and Control offers a sharp and challenging critique of (post) modern-day attitudes toward obesity, health, childhood and the mainstream science and business interests that promote narrow body-centred ways of thinking. Includes: * A critical history of notions of body, identity and health in schools. * Analysis of the 'obesity epidemic', eating disorders * Analysisnbsp;of the influence of nurtured body image in racism, sexism, homophobia and body elitism in schools.

Excerpt

In recent years 'health' has become a major, multi-million pound industry, a topic of routine everyday conversation, a matter of political concern. So much so that many are inclined to accept the health knowledge and advice that is offered in 'the public interest' and define health issues and agendas as well-meant, ideologically innocent, even incontrovertible matters of fact that should be better reflected in the curriculum of schools. This book arises out of growing misgivings among professionals working internationally in fields of physical education and health regarding such developments. It challenges the core assumption that schools, especially the teaching of physical education and health as currently configured in them, are inherently 'good' for children's and young people's well-being and health. We contend that the insights gained from the sociology of Emile Durkheim, reflected in the work of the British sociologist Basil Bernstein, can further our understandings of the complex relationships between 'society', schools and the 'embodied self'. Part I introduces the contents of this book, highlighting the importance of Bernstein's work in understanding how 'ability', 'health' and corporeality are fashioned in schools. It also illustrates how the influential work of the French sociologist Michel Foucault can inform research methodologies interrogating the relationships between social practices and power relations both inside and outside schools. Part II highlights the place of social theory in research and curriculum development. It considers the importance of locating curriculum developments in schools in a 'risk society' and wider socio-historical and political contexts. Questions are raised about the ways in which contemporary discourses around 'obesity', 'childhood' and 'health' are socially constructed, politically regulated and mediated by government policies and school practices. Part III takes us into physical education and health classrooms and sport contexts in schools. Here critical questions are raised about the nature of health education teaching; playground and other behaviour; peer group cultures and relationships; physical culture; 'ability' and 'impairment'; eating disorders; and spatial matters. These are considered in relation to issues of 'healthism', racism, sexism, elitism and homophobia in schools. Part IV clarifies the concepts of 'performance' and 'perfection' and cautiously draws out the implications of the studies reported in this text for future research and curriculum development in physical education and health in initial teacher education and schools.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.