chapter  7
17 Pages

The body and health in policy: representations and recontextualisation


In this chapter we seek to highlight the importance of policy as either a powerful source of stability and inequity in schools and societies, or alternatively, of active resistance and change. We argue that embedded in policies and played out in current practices1 of physical education (‘health and physical education’) are incentives to pursue particular lives that are repeatedly being constructed as both healthy and desirable (for all) and that these lives presume the greater value and desirability of some bodies over others. They are, therefore, inherently inequitable and excluding. In hoping to counter these trends, we present policy as a force for prompting and supporting steps towards more socially critical practices in physical education that challenge and extend established thinking and actions.