Mathilde Cecchini

The Healthy Child and the Child at Risk: The Formation and Transformation of Health, Risk and Non-risk Identities in the Encounter between Policy, Teachers and Pupils

Promoting pupils’ health has become one of the key tasks of the Danish Public School. Health education is a mandatory subject in a public-school education, and the latest public-school reform has made daily physical activity mandatory. The question is what actually happens when these policies are carried out in practice. This dissertation sheds light on this process by focusing on what happens in the encounter between policies, teachers, and pupils in everyday school life. Drawing on public administration literature on street-level bureaucracy and sociological literature on welfare encounters, the dissertation examines how health, risk and non-risk identities are constructed and transformed in the encounter between health policies, teachers, and pupils. The study takes the form of an interpretivist ethnography combining observational studies with different types of interviews and collection of policy documents. Overall, the dissertation illustrates how meaning making and identity formation are important outcomes of health policies and shows the complexity of the agency of frontline workers as well as citizens in these processes. By focusing on meaning making, identity formation and the agency of actors in these processes, the dissertation points to possible logics as well as potential limits of governance at the frontline where policies are implemented.   

Download pdf

Ophavsretten tilhører Politica. Materialet må ikke bruges eller distribueres i kommercielt øjemed.