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Review of educational research on ‘health work’ in Swedish Ph.D.-theses during 2005-2014
University of Gävle, Faculty of Education and Business Studies, Department of Educational sciences.
Linköpings universitet.
2016 (English)In: Social Justice, Equality and Solidarity in Education?, 2016Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this paper we examine how health work is manifested in Swedish educational PhD-theses. We define ‘health work’ here broadly, encompassing for instance the work of all kinds of health professionals (such as health educators/promoters, public health workers, nurses, chiropractors, personal trainers, etc), health work through health related reporting in various media (e.g. magazines, web-sites, blogs, etc), and also the health work individuals perform on and for themselves (e.g. lifestyle-oriented activities). Intrinsic to these types of health work are both immanent and more direct processes of education, whereby it becomes a field of interest to educational researchers, and education research into this field of health work in turn becomes of use to health workers/practitioners.

Therefore it is interesting to examine how this field of ‘health work’ is perceived and framed in the perspective of Swedish education research and what questions education research have been asking in this field. The aim of this paper is to explore how health work figures in Swedish education research. What aspects of health work are education researchers in Sweden interested in? What questions are being asked? And hence, how can education research in the field of health work support health workers/practitioners in their work?

In order to answer these questions, we have looked at all of the Swedish doctoral theses in education published during the years of 2005-2014. During this period, there were 666 theses published, of which 108 were selected in the first selection, and of these, 74 were selected in the third selection. With a broad operationalization of ‘health’ and ‘health work’, the 74 theses were then further analyzed to determine how health figured in the theses and to answer the rest of the research questions. Here, a distinction was made between theses that had an explicit focus on health work in their research questions and those that did not. The analysis further consisted of categorizing the theses depending on how central or marginal issues of health work were in the studies and on whether health work was an implicit or explicit aspect of the study. The analysis was also concerned with finding common themes or issues or arenas etc.

The preliminary results show that very few theses in education directly relate to health work. The most common areas studied are the school subject of Physical health and education (Idrott och hälsa-ämnet), student health (elevhälsa), health care (hälso- och sjukvård), and sports (idrott). Quite a few studies are concerned with issues of professionalization and many want to understand learning processes related to various illnesses or chronic conditions that people live with, while very few studies have research questions that directly relate to practices of health promotion, i.e. issues of influencing health practices from a salutogenic (“positive health”) perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Education, Health, Review
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-21847OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-21847DiVA: diva2:941321
Conference
NFPF/NERA’s 44th Congress, NERA 2016, Social justice, equality and solidarity in education, 9-11 March 2016, Helsinki, Finland
Available from: 2016-06-22 Created: 2016-06-22 Last updated: 2016-08-16Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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