Critical Analysis of Published Articles in the Field of Education – Research Paper Example

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Conscientization of her viewpoints is evident as she has tried to awaken the pertinent experts to the reality of the situation as it’s exists at the time of publication of her article. In her own admittance she has employed the Haggerty and Ericson’s concept of ‘surveillant assemblage’ to determine how surveillance practices in schools combine and contribute to an assemblage established by numerous agencies and organizations to achieve an obscure picture of the actual antecedents contributing to wholesome health. The multiplicity of factors affecting the psyche of the young women examined in this study is reflected in their recorded statements which show how the surveillance techniques used outside and inside school impacted their understanding of the relationship of body with food (Pg.

805). The author contends that aetiology and development of eating disorders is more related to formal education and wider social practices relevant to the multidimensional nature of young peoples lives. The author has built this study on the basis of her opinion that recent prevalence and the quantitative spurt in surveillance studies has delved deep into collection of statistics and personal data of people in society upon which all sorts of conclusions can be drawn depending upon the kind of analyses the data is subjected to.

Within the school context, the author contends that such surveillance mechanisms have focused on collection of children’s weight and health data, the analysis of which has led to the framing and implementation of curricula and pedagogies directed towards handling to what she claims has been wrongly identified as the ‘obesity epidemic’. The severity of this conceptualization is such that national policies have been framed by national bodies in England and Wales which are responsible for children’s’ health as well as education.

Targets have been assigned to contain the obesity epidemic within a specified time frame with experts harbouring the fear that the present generation of children under 11 years of age may not live as long as their parents. The matter has achieved such serious proportions that interventionist policies are being suggested, which include adaptations in school health and physical education policies and more drastically, removing obese children from their parent’s custody to social care facilities.

A variety of surveillance techniques are being employed at schools in which their eating habits and lifestyle are monitored, direct measurements of their physical characteristics are made, dietary constraints enforced and a number of electronic gadgets used to measure their physical activity.


Emma Rich (2010): Obesity assemblages and surveillance in schools, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 23:7, 803-821
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