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Gender and evolutionary theory in workplace health promotion
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences, Educational science. (Pedagogik)
University of Wollongong, Wollongong, New South Wales, Australien.
2017 (English)In: Health Education Journal, ISSN 0017-8969, E-ISSN 1748-8176, Vol. 76, no 8, p. 893-905Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Objective: Ideas from evolutionary theories are increasingly taken up in health promotion. This articleseeks to demonstrate how such a trend has the potential to embed essentialist and limiting stereotypes ofwomen and men in health promotion practice.

Design: We draw on material gathered for a larger ethnographic study that examined how discourses ofhealth were re-contextualised in four workplace health promotion interventions in Sweden.

Method: This study provided the opportunity to investigate how ideas derived from evolutionary theoriesproduced particular constructs of the healthy employee. A Foucauldian notion of governmentality wasused to examine the rationalities, truths and techniques that informed what we have called a ‘Stone Age’discourse as these contributed to shaping the desires, actions and beliefs of lecturers and participants in theinterventions.

Results: We focus on one intervention which used the Stone Age discourse as an organising idea toconstitute differences in women’s and men’s health through references to women as gatherers and men ashunters, thereby positioning men as the physical, emotional and mental ideal and women as the problematicand lacking ‘other’.

Conclusion: The paper concludes by discussing the implications of such ideas about health and gender forinterventions aimed at changing behaviour and lifestyles.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 76, no 8, p. 893-905
Keywords [en]
Evolutionary psychology, evolutionary health promotion, gender, governmentality, discourse analysis
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-23845DOI: 10.1177/0017896917722372ISI: 000416366600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85035751554OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-23845DiVA, id: diva2:1087095
Available from: 2017-04-05 Created: 2017-04-05 Last updated: 2018-03-13Bibliographically approved

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Björklund, Erika

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf