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DIY selves?

[journal article]

Lewis, Tania

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Abstract In Ulrich Beck’s writings on the ‘risk society’ he depicts contemporary western social identity as reflexive and ad hoc-shaped through calculative strategies of self-management rather than traditional social categories such as class. Beck’s model of ‘reflexive individualization’ can be seen to be particularly pertinent to the realm of health today, which is increasingly marked by discourses of the ‘DIY’ subject. This article uses the findings of a study of young people’s use of online health information as a means of examining the utility of Beck’s theories. Comparing the experiences of young people from different social backgrounds, the article complicates the assertion that social identity has broken free of its class affiliations. Adopting the term ‘health habitus’, the article suggests that one way of countering the problematic tendency in Beck’s work to displace questions of social location is to ground the notion of reflexive individualization in Bourdieu’s concept of habitus.
Keywords Internet
Free Keywords Beck; health habitus; online health information; reflexive individualization; risk society; youth;
Document language English
Publication Year 2006
Page/Pages p. 461-479
Journal European Journal of Cultural Studies, 9 (2006) 4
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)