Childhood as a national asset
The medical and moral framing of ‘health’
in Refiguring childhood
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Chapter 6 presents a genealogy of reformatory education and public hygiene, focusing on how ‘health’ has come to traverse medical and moral conceptions of childhood, and how the figure of the healthy child – once configured as a ‘national asset’ – has since become a form of ‘capital investment’. Tracking this through the datafication of childhood, the core concern is how neoliberal enterprise culture has become a Procrustean bed, with biosocial power doing the work of fashioning life by empowering and supporting children in accordance with prescribed ‘outcomes’. The chapter concludes by taking up a critical perspective on the issue of obesity, examining the battle against childhood obesity as one of the ways in which neoliberal enterprise culture is immunised.

Refiguring childhood

Encounters with biosocial power


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