Athleticism In 1973 a Canadian not-for-profit private company called Participaction ran TV messages, similar in style to commercial ads, calling viewers to get physical exercise.
One segment claimed the average 30-year-old Canadian was in similar physical condition to the average 60-year-old Swede.
The ad had significant impact across Canada while years later it was suggested that
This was pure fiction. No one had any real evidence for this assertion other than international fitness comparisons that put the Swedish population well ahead of Canada and everyone else.
Source » “Bring Back the 60-year old Swede!”
TV viewers in Canada continue to watch newer ads, such as Body Break (1989-), which advocate an active lifestyle.
Michel Foucault and other sociologists argue that discourses about the body often hide behind their innocuous and benevolent exterior a marked political agenda–the legitimization of a social system that claims to ‘scientifically’ improve society.
From this perspective, scientific and medical discourses focusing on personal health tend to deflect public attention from pressing environmental matters–such as toxic waste.
The same has been said with regard to aspects of discourse about crime and mental illness. The emphasis on personal remedies arguably eclipses the need to address greater societal maladies.
This seems especially so with minority groups and the economic poor. “Decadent rap music” and “drugs,” for example, are often singled out as factors contributing to higher crime rates and mental illness among youths within visible minority groups. But often overlooked is systemic racism and the significant stressors encountered by so-called “have-nots” living in societies marked by sharp economic disparity.
A New Testament view of athleticism, often ignored by Christians, presents another extreme perspective that differs from contemporary wisdom:
For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come (1 Timothy 4:8).
» Poststructuralism, Scientism
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