Governing Physical Education Through Community: Self-Regulation and the Emergence of the ‘Moral Individual’ in England (1970–1998)

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The self-regulation that we see embedded into the PE curriculum in England today can be traced to the emergence (during the late 1990s/early 2000s) of a problematisation of welfarist rationalities of governing that occurred in the early 1970s, and a consequent increasing emphasis on governing physical activity (and conduct more broadly) through communities. This need to self-regulate and thereby become a ‘moral individual’ began to infiltrate UK sports policies of the era, which were used as technologies for governing the working classes in particular. Indeed, the body became a ‘solution’ to Government’s desire for greater self-regulation and enhanced moral attributes in its citizens.

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