‘Even if you don’t care…you do care after all’: ‘Othering’ and physical education in Norway
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AbstractIn the past decade or more, improving young people’s mental health has been identified as a priority for policy-makers in many countries, including Norway. Physical education, as a setting for physical activity, is increasingly viewed as having a potentially significant role to play in addressing mental health among the young. This paper reports the findings from a study of 148 Norwegian youngsters (68 girls and 80 boys) from the 10th grade (15–16 years old) in eight secondary schools in Norway in 2017. It explores Norwegian youngsters’ experiences of physical education in relation to aspects of their mental health – specifically, being judged and, by extension, ‘othered’. The findings suggest that physical education may undoubtedly serve to generate positive feelings associated with physical activity and games and, in doing so, bolster some youngsters’ self-esteem and self-identities. On the other hand, however, for those less competent in sporting terms, and whose bodily self-image is not particularly positive, the public nature of physical education and the nature of the activities that constitute the subject can give rise to unplanned and unintended harm to some youngsters’ mental health – especially in countries, such as Norway, where sport is a significant aspect of the group habitus and collective ‘we-group’ identity.
CitationEuropean Physical Education Review, volume 26, issue 3, page 622-641
DescriptionFrom Crossref via Jisc Publications Router
History: epub 2020-08-18
Funder: The Research Council of Norway; Grant(s): 238212/F60