This article explores how health promotion is practiced within a specific educational setting: the Danish Social and Health Education Programme. Here, health promotion is formally conceived as a strategy aimed at citizens - not at the students themselves. However, the students are generally perceived as being incapable of taking care of their own health and therefore also as being too far from the role model figure inherent in the discourse of professional health promotion work. Practices targeting students’ physical health are induced both in- and outside the curriculum. Based on empirical analysis and post-structuralist theory, the article explores the processes of subjectification that result from the practices of health promotion within this particular educational setting. The article reveals how health promotion is transformed into an educational technology and is thus utilized to solve problems of both a social and moral character. It is shown how health promotion has a thorough impact on the students’ possibilities of coming into being as (professional) subjects. The article points to the conclusion that in this particular educational setting, health promotion constitutes subjectification processes that lead to both inclusion and marginalization and to empowerment and de-empowerment.
Journal of Social Work Practice, 2011, Vol 25, Issue 3, p. 311-322
Health Promotion; problematisation; subjectification