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The class and cultural functions of obesity discourse: our latter day child saving movement


Reference:

Evans, J., Davies, B. and Rich, E., 2008. The class and cultural functions of obesity discourse: our latter day child saving movement. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 18 (2), pp. 117-132.

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Official URL:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09620210802351367

Abstract

This paper examines the inexorable rise of 'health' as regulative discourse, highlighting its class and cultural dimensions. With reference to the policy content of recent obesity reports, analysis suggests that contemporary concerns around obesity are but a modern variant of earlier eighteenth and nineteenth century child saving crusades whose primary concerns were the regulation of deviant populations among women and the working classes rather than amelioration of the antecedents of social disorder and its attendant ill-health. Unlike earlier crusades, however, in the 'risk' discourse of contemporary versions, class and gender are but a subtle presence, while other subjectivities of ethnicity, age and disability are barely to be seen. We suggest that in failing to address the complexity of people's lives and the intersections of class and culture, such policies and their attendant pedagogies are likely to have very little impact on either individual or community health.

Details

Item Type Articles
CreatorsEvans, J., Davies, B. and Rich, E.
DOI10.1080/09620210802351367
DepartmentsFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences > Education
RefereedYes
StatusPublished
ID Code22673

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