Browsing Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Life Sciences by Subjects
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Physical education at preschools: practitioners’ and children’s engagements with physical activity and health discoursesThis paper focuses on one aspect of a qualitative study concerned with investigating the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschools in Scotland. We examine the ways in which the participants engaged with discourses related to physical activity and health in order to construct their subjectivities. Fourteen practitioners and 70 children participated. Research methods employed were observations, interviews with adults, a group drawing and discussion activity with children, and interviews with children. Both the adults’ and children’s talk illustrated the dominance of neoliberal, healthism meanings which position individuals as responsible for their own health. While the children’s talk primarily centred on health as a corporeal notion, the practitioners tended to talk about physical activity and health in both corporeal terms and in relation to the self more holistically. The practitioners also talked about physical activity as a means of regulating children’s behaviour.
When transport policy becomes health policy: A documentary analysis of active travel policy in EnglandThere has been a succession of policy documents related to active travel published by the British government since the implementation of a National Cycle Network (NCN) in 1995. However, as the latest National Travel Survey (NTS) reveals, the number of journeys made by bike in the UK has remained steadfastly around only 2% (Department for Transport [DfT], 2018a). By using documentary analysis of the available official policy documents and statements, the aim of this paper is to make sense of the policies that have been published concerning active travel (AT) in England. This is done from a figurational sociological perspective. Three key themes emerge from the analysis: (1) the rhetorical, advisory level of the vast majority of the policies; (2) the reliance on a wide network of local authorities to implement AT policy; and (3) the focus placed on individuals to change their behaviour. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that despite a large number of policy publications from a range of government departments claiming to promote AT, little has actually changed in this time period in terms of a national agenda. Despite the successive policies, it seems there is little appetite on behalf of recent governments to make widespread infrastructural changes, where instead the focus has largely been on persuading the individual to seek more active modes of travel, increasingly for their own, individual ‘health’ gains.