Publication Details

Leahy, D. & Wright, J. (2016). Governing food choices: a critical analysis of school food pedagogies and young people's responses in contemporary times. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46 (2), 233-246.


Recently a proliferation and intensification of school programmes that are directed towards teaching children and young people about food has been witnessed. Whilst there is much to learn about food, anxieties concerning the obesity epidemic have dramatically shaped how schools address the topic. This article draws on governmentality to consider 'the conditions of possibility' for teaching about food in contemporary times. In particular the form that knowledge about food takes in the midst of an obesity epidemic, the authorities on which it draws for its legitimacy and the learnings made possible are considered. To do this two Australian studies investigating students' engagement with school-health knowledge are considered. It is suggested that the obesity epidemic has potently shaped the ways schools seek to teach about food and the possibilities for how young people come to understand their own, and others', food choices.



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