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ERIC Number: EJ985023
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 41
ISSN: ISSN-0159-6306
Neither Good nor Useful: Looking Ad Vivum in Children's Assessments of Fat and Healthy Bodies
Harwood, Valerie
Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, v33 n5 p693-711 2012
Fat bodies are not, fait accompli, bad. Yet in our international research, we found overwhelmingly that fat functioned as a marker to indicate health or lack of health. A body with fat was simply and conclusively unhealthy. This article reports on how this unbalanced view of fat was tied to assessments of healthy bodies that were achieved by "the act of looking." Despite the efforts of health education in each of the three countries in our study, children and young people cited the act of looking at bodies to assess health and when did they arrived at the conclusion that fat on bodies is unmistakably bad. The article uses a Foucauldian analysis of medical perception together with material from Conrad Gessner's sixteenth century "Historia Animalium" to outline how the children in our study placed great reliance on information about fat to make almost exclusively visual assessments of health. The article makes the case that, despite a great deal of health education in schools, these judgments reveal a tendency for children to make incorrect assessments of health. (Contains 15 notes, 1 table, and 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; New Zealand; United Kingdom (England)