Publication Details

Wright, J. (2009). Biopower, Biopedagogies and the obesity epidemic. In J. Wright & V. Harwood (Eds.), Biopolitics and the 'Obesity Epidemic': governing bodies (pp. 1-14). New York: Routledge.


One of the most powerful and pervasive discourses currently influencing ways of thinking about health and about bodies is that of the ‘obesity epidemic’. This has, in turn, generated a counter argument from a range of perspectives. While there has been considerable recent theorising of the issue in the context of fat studies, there has been less attention to how the discourses associated with the obesity epidemic have had an impact on populations and specific sections of populations. The contributors to this book came together because of a joint concern as educators with the ways in which the ‘truths’ of the obesity epidemic, as they are recontextualized in government policy, health promotion initiatives, web resources and school practices have consequences for how children and young people come to know themselves. Our purpose then is to further current theoretical understandings of obesity discourse, and the practices it endorses, by interrogating what we are terming biopedagogical practices as they are enacted across a range of social and institutional sites. In bringing together collaborative insights around biopedagogies, the collection will also further theoretical understandings of the construction of the body in contemporary culture.

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