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Young People's Health Beliefs and Behaviours: Power, Performance and Spatialities



Sitting at the intersection between Health Geography and Children’s Geographies, this thesis explores the ways in which young people’s health beliefs and behaviours are constructed, mediated and performed. Concomitantly, the thesis connects with interdisciplinary work relating to young people and health. Using a mixed methods approach, and drawing on the aims and values of participatory research, the empirical focus of the thesis is the Wear Valley area of County Durham, North East England. \ud \ud Unlike much of the existing work in Health Geography and Children’s Geographies, this thesis both makes explicit its understanding of space and scale and draws upon some of the recent reworkings of these concepts which view them in a fluid and abstract manner instead of a hierarchical, absolute or relative one. Space and scale are viewed as being produced and yet are also regarded as continually under construction and (re)formation; they are fluid and involve plurality, multiplicity and juxtaposition and thus cannot be reduced to simple networks or hierarchies. In addition, this thesis draws on the work of Goffman, Foucault and Judith Butler, both in the development of its theoretical framework and in its discussion of the sculpting and performance of young people’s health beliefs and behaviours. Drawing on these theorists, particular attention is given to issues of power, discipline, performance and identity. Building on these discussions, the thesis will consider the ways in which global trends, globalisation and local culture intertwine in the sculpting and performance of young people’s health beliefs through discussions of the media and technology, food, and understandings of the countryside and health. Issues of power, discourse, performance and identity will also be discussed in relation to young people’s beliefs about, and experiences of, the countryside and the pervasive but problematic notion of the ‘rural idyll’ will be contested.\u

Year: 2009
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Provided by: Durham e-Theses

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