Self-care and injury prevention in the Swedish welfare society : An anthropological study on how physical activity and cardio exercise are used to self-care both physically and mentally

University essay from Uppsala universitet/Institutionen för kulturantropologi och etnologi

Abstract: The broader aim of this essay is twofold: Firstly, I study what motivate people to engage in physical activities, particularly walking or running. Secondly, I contextualize the experiences and understanding in relation to governmentality and technology. I pay particular attention to perceived benefits of physical activities and cardio exercises, both physical and mental benefits, which include feelings, motivations and experiences. The essay focuses on the perceived benefits of physical activities, which is deeply tied to health and self-governing. Therefore, this essay examines how physical activities is viewed as good for people’s health, how it is motivated by pain and illness, monitored by self-govern and technology, and desired for its ability to maintain capability and freedom. In order to analyze perceived benefits of physical activities, this study draws from several theoretical orientations of governmentality, concept of illness, embodiment, place, mobility and freedom. I have used medical anthropology, public health studies as well as historical studies of sport and exercises to contextualize physical activities. As method I have drawn mostly from interviews with the participants in the study and some observations of the environment. Besides that, I have used my own senses to experiences walking in different areas. Furthermore, I have analyzed written material from the public health agency and the ministry of health and social affairs in Sweden, health organizations and newspapers.    

  AT THIS PAGE YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE WHOLE ESSAY. (follow the link to the next page)