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Food, risk and place: agency and negotiations of young people with food allergy.
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Education, Education.
2015 (English)In: Sociology of Health and Illness, ISSN 0141-9889, E-ISSN 1467-9566, Vol. 37, no 2, 284-297 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Potentially life-threatening food allergies are increasing among children in the Western world. Informed by childhood studies, this article explores young people's management of food allergy risk and highlights their agency in relation to food, eating and place. Drawing on individual interviews with 10 young people who took part in a larger multi-method study of young people's experiences of food allergies, the findings demonstrate that the management of health risks means, to some extent, trying to control the uncontrollable. A reaction can occur at any time and to experience a severe reaction entails a temporarily loss of control. The strategies the young people develop to avoid allergic reactions can be understood both as responses to this uncertainty and as manifestations of their agency. Their risk experiences vary with place; at school and in other public places they face social as well as health risks. What we see is not agency as a voluntary choice but that young people with food allergies experience tensions between their own competence to manage different types of risks and their dependence on others to adjust to their needs. Thus, the relational aspects of young people's agency come to the fore.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 37, no 2, 284-297 p.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-26534DOI: 10.1111/1467-9566.12215ISI: 000351204300009PubMedID: 25683001ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84924812835OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-26534DiVA: diva2:792924
Available from: 2015-03-05 Created: 2015-03-05 Last updated: 2015-04-17Bibliographically approved

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Stjerna, Marie-Louise
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