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Lecture

KINE 1000 Lectures notes 3A & 3B

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Department
Kinesiology & Health Science
Course
KINE 1000
Professor
Lewis Code
Semester
Fall

Description
Pg.: 13: Social construction: something that we define, reproduce in our lives and give meaning to and life to. Q: Why do we need to think about science as a social construction? A: B/c science changes over history and has the ability to influence people’s lives. In the Victorian era, science influenced women’s lives by reinforcing/reproducing the reasons why they shouldn’t be physically active and engaged in it, because something might happen to their bodies physically. It became justification for why women shouldn’t be allowed to participate in sports and physical activity in the way that boys and men were allowed to do so. Pg. 14: If we fast forward that to our current point in time, we have a different way of understanding women and women’s bodies and physical activity. There are still some myths out there about what women can and cannot do, but for the most part, it’s radically different than what it was for our parents’ grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ generations, etc., that right now it’s not unusual to see women boxing, wrestling, etc. There’s most acceptability to it and a greater recognition that women’s bodies can engage in this physical activity. We still mythologize about it in the science we use to still support it; that’s still there, depends on what kind of circumstances. What we’re trying to do is, in questioning science, is to develop our understanding. We need to recognize the body and physical activity as social constructions. When we do so, we’re in a position of understanding power and power relations in the research and science we do. When we ask questions like “whose science counts?” and “whose knowledge counts?” we understand that science is framed by power. If someone were to define something in a certain way, and she gets everyone to believe that her way is the way that makes her a powerful scientist/researcher. Power frames science! In asking and questioning science, then positioning science as a social construction, what we’re saying is that science is defined by people, especially scientists. Science is not just something that’s come down from the heavens and we now have it. Scientists don’t just come down from the heavens with their brains filled with knowledge; they are human beings who define certain things in certain ways. In doing so, it means that they have power. If you can define something in a certain way, it gives you power over it. Ex. – little kids playing, one kid gives the rules to a game. That kid has all the power. We can extend that idea to science as well. If scientists can define a certain concept, practice, body part or anything in a way that it influences how we act, behave and interact, there’s power there. We are questioning the power relations; we need to think of the power behind all the science we study. Why are we defining certain things in certain ways? Who does it advantage or disadvantage? Lecture 3B: Whose Knowledge Counts? Pg. 1: Ex. 1: Fatness & obesity: this idea that there’s an epidemic of obesity is something that is reproduced and told to us over and over again, in the media, the news, movies, in all these different types of media outlets, the internet, also in the courses taken in high school, and even in Kinesiology. Within the first few weeks of this course already we are familiar with and feel sensitivity towards the idea of an obesity epidemic. Pg. 2: Voices of dissent: opinions that tell you that there isn’t an epidemic of obesity, that fascination we have with fatness is not because we have fat people that will dominate the planets. These voices go against fatness and the idea of an obesity epidemic. Pg. 3: Q: How often do we hear dissent? The information about power, social construction and science of social construction is captured by this quote. When we are thinking about obesity and fatness, we should be looking at and thinking about our fixation on it, on who gets to define acceptable and unacceptable bodies, and how that get taken up as “the truth”. Q: W
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