Governing healthy family lifestyles through discourses of risk and responsibility
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Within advanced liberal societies health promotion discourses are increasingly targeting the risk of obesity and other lifestyle diseases through schools, media campaigns and community programs. Australian initiatives have been aimed primarily at changing individual beliefs and behaviour related to 'risky' food consumption and physical activity, as well as the provision of programs and infrastructure (Headley 2004). Drawing on Michel Foucault's (1991) trajectory of thinking about biopower and more contemporary work that engages with risk (Lupton 1999; Rose 2007), this chapter critically considers how health promotion expertise works as a 'technology of power' to shape the conduct of family life. Coveney (2006 p.161) argues that family lifestyle practices have become a significant site through which health is governed: With the focus of prevention very much on children, the home and the family are regarded as the safe haven for the pedagogical improvement of children's eating habits and the introduction of exercise regimes. The discursive formation of the 'healthy lifestyle' in the 1960s can also be understood as part of a new politico-ethical terrain where family members are urged to exercise freedom via 'technologies of the self' organised around the prevention of 'risk' related to concerns about overweight and obesity (Foucault 1988; Coveney 2006). This chapter draws upon research with different kinds of families and their stories offer a compelling critique of health lifestyle imperatives.
Biopolitics and the ‘Obesity Epidemic’: Governing bodies
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Recreation, Leisure and Tourism Geography
Sociology not elsewhere classified