Special Issue "Socio-cultural and Critical Approaches to Health and the Body"

A special issue of Societies (ISSN 2075-4698).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Valeria Varea
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Health Sciences, Örebro University, Sweden
Interests: socio-cultural and critical approaches to health and the body; qualitative research methodologies; people's engagement in health and physical activity; pre-service teacher education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Societies is now seeking manuscripts for a Special Issue: “Socio-cultural and critical approaches to health and the body.”

Making sense of what is familiar and taken-for-granted is not an easy task. Indeed, the aim of socio-cultural and critical studies is to ‘make the familiar strange’. To make the familiar strange is to question daily life as something profoundly complex and yet amenable to understanding. Bodies are everywhere and making sense of the body and health is part of our routine and taken-for-granted social behaviour. People construct their body with words, actions and meanings, in relationship with others and living in a specific society and culture.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to provide a collection of papers that examine bodies and health from a socio-cultural and critical perspective. In so doing, it invites contributions around (but not limited to) the following topics.

-      What are socio-cultural and critical studies in relation to the body and health?

-      The body, embodiment and bodywork

-      Gender and sexuality

-      Obesity, fatness and thinness

-      Ethnicity

-      Fitness, health and wellbeing

-      Methodologies to study the body and health

-      Consumerism and the influences on the body and health

-      The body, politics and health

Dr. Valeria Varea
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Societies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
A Turning Point as an Opportunity to (Re)Think and Give a Voice to One’s Own Body
Societies 2019, 9(3), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9030060 - 17 Aug 2019
Abstract
This article explores the intersectionalities of masculinity, fatherhood, and physical activity in relation to a Physical Education teacher who has been diagnosed with an illness. In so doing, we draw on autobiographical narratives to delve into how embodied subjectivities are constructed to advance [...] Read more.
This article explores the intersectionalities of masculinity, fatherhood, and physical activity in relation to a Physical Education teacher who has been diagnosed with an illness. In so doing, we draw on autobiographical narratives to delve into how embodied subjectivities are constructed to advance knowledge on a new embodied way of being a man and a PE teacher that can be accepted and embraced. The results are organised into three main themes: (1) narratives of continuation: the “before” of chronic illness; (2) narratives of disruption: back pain and temporary physical disability; and (3) restitution narratives: damn it, now that I am a father. The results suggest that narratives such as those presented in this article contribute to the continuously changing process of life projects and that illness can assist in redefining and reconstituting the persona of a PE teacher. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-cultural and Critical Approaches to Health and the Body)
Open AccessArticle
Critical Approaches to Ageing Body Politics in the Works of Erica Jong
Societies 2019, 9(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9020047 - 13 Jun 2019
Abstract
The ways we read our bodies and bodily transformations are deeply inscribed in cultural meanings that vary across different historical times and societies. Even if the desire to achieve culturally imposed beauty standards and ideals is relevant to all age groups, anxieties about [...] Read more.
The ways we read our bodies and bodily transformations are deeply inscribed in cultural meanings that vary across different historical times and societies. Even if the desire to achieve culturally imposed beauty standards and ideals is relevant to all age groups, anxieties about bodily decline become more pronounced as we approach the final stages of our lives. Physical changes are never just manifestations of cellular and organic loss, but can also be a source of troubled identifies and fragmented personalities caused by the mismatch between our external appearance and the inner perception of the self. This paper offers the longitudinal analysis of female processes of ageing from age-studies and feminist perspectives, as depicted in the works of Erica Jong, a contemporary American writer. It uncovers significant aspects of the pressures older women are subjected to in order to look more appealing in youth-oriented cultures, and demonstrates that the human body is often regarded as a conflicting site of perpetual ambiguities and troubled feelings caused by physical decay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-cultural and Critical Approaches to Health and the Body)
Open AccessArticle
Sport for All and Social Inclusion of Individuals with Impairments: A Case Study from Brazil
Societies 2019, 9(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9020044 - 01 Jun 2019
Abstract
This article examines the discourses about Sport for All (SFA) and their evolution over the past four decades in Brazil and analyzes the implications of those discourses for social inclusion of Brazilians with impairments in sport and leisure. It provides an overview of [...] Read more.
This article examines the discourses about Sport for All (SFA) and their evolution over the past four decades in Brazil and analyzes the implications of those discourses for social inclusion of Brazilians with impairments in sport and leisure. It provides an overview of four political milestones in the development of sport participation in Brazil: the launch of the SFA program under the military dictatorship; the adoption of the 1988 Constitution; the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; and the Rio 2016 Paralympics. Foucault’s archaeological-genealogical approach has been used to explain how the principle of social inclusion has been practised and enacted through the SFA discourses in Brazil and to discuss the implications of sport and leisure policies for the population with impairments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-cultural and Critical Approaches to Health and the Body)
Open AccessArticle
Exploring Women’s Experiences: Embodied Pathways and Influences for Exercise Participation
Societies 2019, 9(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9010016 - 19 Feb 2019
Abstract
It has been well-documented that women face pressures to conform to a slim, toned, and athletic body, becoming “tyrannised” by beauty ideals. Under these contemporary ideologies of perfectionism, women are placed under constant surveillance, evaluation and, objectification and are thus reduced to “being” [...] Read more.
It has been well-documented that women face pressures to conform to a slim, toned, and athletic body, becoming “tyrannised” by beauty ideals. Under these contemporary ideologies of perfectionism, women are placed under constant surveillance, evaluation and, objectification and are thus reduced to “being” their bodies. However, there is little known about the potential relationships between different types of exercise, body image, and exercise motivation. With this in mind, this paper contributes towards a small but developing body of research that utilises feminist phenomenology to reveal twelve women’s early embodied motivations for exercising and draws upon material gathered from a three-year ethnography into the embodied experiences of women in fitness cultures. This paper delves into the influences on their continued participation over time and explores how these experiences shape their understandings of the embodied self and the broader constructions of the gendered body. The discussion provided illuminates how early influences on exercise participation and how pressures on women to conform to dominant notions of the “feminine” body are imposed by structural, cultural, historical, and localised forces in ways that affect and shape future physical activity participation, and the physical cultures where these tensions are played out. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Socio-cultural and Critical Approaches to Health and the Body)
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