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Unruly bodies: resistance, (in)action and hysteresis in a public health intervention


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Hanckel, B, Milton, S and Green, J 2020 , 'Unruly bodies: resistance, (in)action and hysteresis in a public health intervention' , Social Theory & Health , doi: 10.1057/s41285-020-00143-z.

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Schools have long been sites of public health intervention on the bodies of children.Increasingly, these interventions also act on the bodies of educators. Our casestudy is an intervention focused on the future health of children’s bodies (‘The DailyMile’), which, we argue, also resulted in the surveillance of educators’ bodies. Wedraw on Bourdieu’s concept of hysteresis to explore how those bodies can become‘unruly’ during implementation, in both resisting and being positioned as reluctant.Hysteresis, an under-utilised Bourdieusian concept, proved useful for exploringembodiment at a point when there were mismatches between habitus and thechanging field of primary education. We show how the non-participation of someactors (e.g. teachers) was positioned as part of a broader resistance to health as adominant value, whereas non-participation of less-privileged social actors (e.g.Teaching Assistants) was problematised in different ways. We argue that attendingto moments of hysteresis, in which the changing symbolic values of physicalcapital become explicit, surfaces not just how dominant discourses (e.g. healthism)become reproduced in fields, but also how they change and are resisted, and withwhat effects.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Hanckel, B and Milton, S and Green, J
Keywords: Bourdieu, hysteresis, education, habitus, field, public health
Journal or Publication Title: Social Theory & Health
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.
ISSN: 1477-8211
DOI / ID Number: 10.1057/s41285-020-00143-z
Copyright Information:

© The Author(s) 2020. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made.

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