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Sahlström, Emma, 2018. “It’s so much more than just sports…” : a study of public health in the municipalities of Hultsfred and Vimmerby. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



This thesis investigates how the public health discourse takes its expression in the municipalities of Vimmerby and Hultsfred, as health has become an imperative guiding the conduct of everyday life. In the understanding of public health having both political and symbolic dimensions, the theoretical framework of Foucault and the concepts of governmentality and biopower are applied to the empirical material by means of qualitative research methods.

The narratives of informants, including public health professionals, engaged members of civil society and individuals in the local LEADER area, are used to explore how public health is done through both explicit and implicit intentions. Through semi-structured interviews and observations, the public health discourse is seen as expressed by ideas and actions, but also materialised in places.

The thesis concludes that public health is done through an assemblage of actors and through a plurality of activities and purposes, some of which hold health as a side effect. The practice of public health promotion, as it is dependent on exercise of biopolitics, is challenged by increasing movement of people, exemplified in narratives of immigration and urbanisation. Furthermore, the mentalities invested in the public health discourse entail a care of self, which can be argued to extend not only to the healthy body, but to the community and environments which the body is situated in.

Main title:“It’s so much more than just sports…”
Subtitle:a study of public health in the municipalities of Hultsfred and Vimmerby
Authors:Sahlström, Emma
Supervisor:Hansen, Kjell
Examiner:Bartholdson, Örjan
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2018
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NY007 Agriculture Programme - Rural Development 270 HEC
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:public health, health discourse, biopolitics, governmentality
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Rural sociology and social security
Deposited On:09 Jul 2018 11:50
Metadata Last Modified:20 May 2020 11:28

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