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Weight(,) trouble and intersectional subjectivities: Capturing children´s corporeal experiences with body normativities in Austrian schools
Linköping University, Department of Thematic Studies, Centre for Gender Studies.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study looks at school children´s intersectional experience with weight norms and tries to give insights on the issue of body normativities, from a feminist sport scientist point of view.

Its purpose is to inform good practice in juvenile health education on the one hand and to contribute with intersectional feminist insights to the interdisciplinary dialogue on body weight and health on the other.

The here presented research project has been conceived as a pilot study for the juvenile health program The Club of Strong Friends.

It aims to answer the question how troubled subject positions in a curricular setting come to be and how children use their intersectional corporeality to navigate in and out of different positionings.

Using workshops as a method, a workshop series called Self-worth, Body Weight and Health was carried out with children between 11 and 13 in 3 different public schools in the most eastern province of Austria in spring 2015. Four of these sessions constitute the material for the analysis which has been realized by using Staunaes´ conceptualisation of intersectionality and troubled subject positions.

Results:

It has been found that many children who conformed to normative body weight ideals drew attention to this fact. This was inter alia to claim an untroubled position within the group or overshadow a troubled position as an ethnic minority in a dominant Austrian school context.

Being of non-normative body weight on the other hand often hindered children to connect with others and aggravated the participation in in-group activities.

The data demonstrate that body weight plays a significant role in negotiating one´s intersectional position within the peer group. Non-normative body weight can thereby be a barrier for children to take part in a learning community. The findings also suggest that a variety of intersections that constitute children´s corporeal experiences within educational contexts are overlooked or insufficiently addressed within educational environments.

Conclusion:

Given this study´s findings, it is recommended to start incorporating intersectionality as an analytical tool and methodology in health promotion and health education in order to address pupils´ differences and intersections in a valuing non-oppressive way.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 96
Keywords [en]
Body weight, normativities, intersectionality, troubled subject positions, juvenile health promotion
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-154913ISRN: LIU-TEMA G/GSIC2-A—18/016-SEOAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-154913DiVA, id: diva2:1293621
Subject / course
Gender Studies - Intersectionality and Change, Two Year
Presentation
2019-02-11, Linköping, 09:51 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-03-05 Created: 2019-03-05 Last updated: 2019-03-05Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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Output format
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