Theses Doctoral

Experimenting with affective bodies: Young people, health and fitness in an urban after-school program

Safron, Carrie

Young people learn about and interact with health and fitness through multiple pedagogical sites, including after-school programs, print and social media, fitness centers, families and peers. As such, the purpose of this dissertation was to explore the ways in which Black and Latinx youth interacted with health and fitness in an urban after-school context. To do so, a visual ethnographic approach was used over 18-months, working with youth in different ways over that time period. Data generation methods included participant observation (field notes, informal conversations), semi-structured interviews, participant-driven visual diaries and a scrapbooking project. Data analysis involved various inquiry techniques such as thinking through (affect) theory, Maggie MacLure’s interpretation of coding, and collage as analysis. Affect theory, from a new materialist and feminist lens, framed this dissertation. Using these theoretical and methodological approaches, I share three manuscripts that highlight affective flows produced at different points in the dissertation research. These involve (1) a focus on beginning to experiment with visual methods and five youth; (2) a pedagogical encounter between four youth, two fitness professionals and myself; and (3) a collage-as-analysis that held potential to de-territorialize research practices as usual. Through these manuscripts, I argue that this dissertation begins to create (non-traditional) ways to reimagine health and fitness so that all bodies (Black/Latinx youth and fitness professionals, White woman researcher, images, texts, words) come to matter for research and pedagogical practices with high school-aged youth in an urban after-school context.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biobehavioral Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Carol Ewing Garber
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
July 27, 2020