Gender, health and physical activity in the digital age: between postfeminism and pedagogical possibilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this paper, I reflect on the numerous contributions of feminist research in helping to frame critical analyses of contemporary health imperatives and their impact on girls’ experiences of their bodies and subjectivities. I then consider recent trends towards the digitisation of girl’s bodies across both formal and informal sites of learning. Digital technologies are increasingly being used in physical and health education to track and monitor young people’s ‘health behaviours’. Evidence is also emerging that digital health technologies, mobile apps, social media and wearable lifestyle technologies are growing in popularity amongst young people but can have potentially far-reaching effects on their health practices, identities and well-being. I argue that new digitised cultures of health and fitness are sites within which gendered pedagogies circulate and reflect a postfeminist sensibility of consumption, surveillance and self-actualisation. I then consider how the proliferation of these technologies and new forms of engagement with the body, inform or challenge gender inequalities. As the title suggests, in terms of gendered norms, digital health technologies can be used to govern bodies and subjectivities but also provide opportunities for resistance; reflecting a postfeminist sensibility but also providing pedagogical possibilities for resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)736-747
Number of pages12
JournalSport, Education and Society
Volume23
Issue number8
Early online date13 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2018

Keywords

  • body pedagogy
  • Digital health
  • gender
  • healthism
  • neoliberalism
  • postfeminism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Education

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