'Are they just checking our obesity or what?' The healthism discourse and rural young women

Lee, Jessica and Macdonald, Doune (2010) 'Are they just checking our obesity or what?' The healthism discourse and rural young women. Sport Education and Society, 15 2: 203-219. doi:10.1080/13573321003683851

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Author Lee, Jessica
Macdonald, Doune
Title 'Are they just checking our obesity or what?' The healthism discourse and rural young women
Journal name Sport Education and Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1357-3322
1470-1243
Publication date 2010-05-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/13573321003683851
Volume 15
Issue 2
Start page 203
End page 219
Total pages 17
Place of publication Abingdon, United Kingdom
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Collection year 2011
Language eng
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 (PE). The young women’s own meanings are explored alongside interview data from their school PE head of department (HoD). 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 illustrate how a school health and physical education (HPE) HoD’s own engagements with the healthism discourse and the school’s HPE 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 PE 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.
Keyword Health
Fitness
Rural
Young women
Healthism
Bourdieu
Obesity
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 22 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 31 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 23 May 2010, 10:00:47 EST