Title

The business of 'bettering' students' lives: Physical and health education and the production of social class subjectivities

RIS ID

34028

Publication Details

O'Flynn, G. H. (2010). The business of 'bettering' students' lives: Physical and health education and the production of social class subjectivities. Sport, Education and Society, 15 (4), 431-445.

Abstract

This paper explores the ways physical and health education is justified in two school settings: aprivate girls¿ school and a co-educational government school located in the same Australian city.Physical and health education policies and interview material with teachers are drawn on to explorethe meanings taken up by the schools. Whilst similar sets of `truths¿ around young people andhealth were drawn on to define the place of physical and health education in the lives of theirstudents, there were also stark differences. It is argued that through these differences importantdiscursive work is being performed. In particular, this paper explores how the schools areimplicated in the discursive continuation of particular `classed¿ subjectivities. For example, a set ofdiscourses around `at-risk¿, `disadvantaged¿, `youth¿ were drawn on by the teachers from thegovernment school to construct physical and health education as a means for `saving¿ theirstudents¿ lives. By comparison, in the private girls¿ school¿s texts, emphasis was on inviting studentsto become particular `independent¿, `responsible¿ young women. It is argued that the exposure andaccess to these different notions of `health¿ positioned students quite differently as particular`classed¿ subjects.

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13573322.2010.514736