Responsible Girlhood and 'Healthy' Anxieties in Britain: Girls' Bodily Learning in School Sport

Clark, Sheryl. 2020. Responsible Girlhood and 'Healthy' Anxieties in Britain: Girls' Bodily Learning in School Sport. In: Liza Tsaliki and Despina Chronaki, eds. Discourses of Anxiety over Childhood and Youth across Cultures. Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 119-142. ISBN 9783030464356 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This chapter situates public health concerns around childhood obesity within a broader trend towards 'healthification.' I draw on scholarly research on the body and schooling as well as on longitudinal research into girls' sports involvement in the UK in order to make sense of how young girls construct themselves as 'healthy subjects' and perform 'successful girlhood'. I understand 'risk' as a regulatory discourse which constructs specific versions of girlhood as acceptable, desirable, and importantly responsible in ongoing efforts to avoid certain dangers, such as obesity. I consider the ways in which obesity as a 'discourse of anxiety' came to regulate girls' activities and available identities in school and in relation to dieting regimes and advertising campaigns.

Item Type:

Book Section

Identification Number (DOI):


girlhood, sport, health, anxieties, youth, school, girls

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Educational Studies


16 July 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

08 Oct 2020 09:32

Last Modified:

16 Jul 2022 01:26


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