health promotion, normativity, embodiment, elementary school




This article examines how health promotion is experienced by students, their families, and their teachers. Experiential aspects of health point to the embodied and sensory dynamics of health meaning-making. Findings of this qualitative study indicate that (1) people make sense of health kinesthetically, and (2) when needs are high and resources are low, schoolbased health promotion takes the shape of crisis management. The first finding foregrounds the role of viscerality, illustrating the intimacy of health; the second finding points to the importance of context, demonstrating the contingency of health. Also introduced are the theoretical frame of kinesthetic circuitry (the somatic transferences between people) and the methodological strategy of transcriptive memo-writing (writing the memo at the time of transcription), both which emerged as findings in and of themselves through the research’s Constructivist Grounded Theory approach. The concluding discussion considers the biopolitical implications of kinesthetic circuitry.

Original Citation

Perhamus, L. (2020). Understanding health viscerally: The role of kinesthetic experience in defining health. Thresholds in Education, 43(1), 86-104.

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