• Ann-Katrine Lloyd Westphall
  • Emilie Nielsine Munkø Lindholdt
  • Maja Bugge Hansen
4. term, Learning and Innovative Change, Master (Master Programme)
This project investigates how preschool-teachers in Copenhagen or Guldborgsund, invest in their well-being, body and health in order to achieve health capital. Furthermore, the project investigates which similarities and differences occur as well as the causes and values behind the investments in well-being, body and health. The project is structured as a mixed methods study holding a combination of quantitative survey and qualitative interviews. This makes it possible to do a comprehensive empirical research. The quantitative survey is used in this project to provide an overview of the populations well-being, body and health, and the qualitative empirical research is used to explain some of the reasons for this. The combination of these methods allows us to demonstrate the tendencies in preschool-teachers investments in health capital as well as the possible causes. The research approach has been structurally constructivistic, which implies that individual human beings are influenced by objective structures and socially designed constructions created through interaction and it determines how human beings act. Therefore, this project is based on the subjective perceptions of individual people, which means that the project takes distance from the fact that knowledge is generalized and detached from all context. The structurally constructivistic framework is based on Pierre Bourdieu’s concept of habitus, field, capitals and doxa, and Kristian Larsen’s concept of health capital, which contains five different ‘bodies’; diet body, mental body, physical body, chemical body and surgery body. The empirical material consists of six qualitative interviews with three preschool-teachers from Guldborgsund and Copenhagen, as well as a survey, answered by 118 respondents, who also work as preschool-teachers in Copenhagen and Guldborgsund.

The project illustrates the differences in the investments in the preschool-teachers well-being, body and health, in order to achieve health capital. Some of the differences found through the research of this project are that according to the diet body it is common to use organic food in Copenhagen while in Guldborgsund organic food is not prioritized. Instead, it’s common to eat traditional Danish food in Guldborgsund. Differences in the investments in well-being, body and health are also made in the mental body, as the structural environment in Guldborgsund differs from Copenhagen. This means, that natural surroundings in Guldborgsund has a meditative impact, while in Copenhagen there is a big need to institutionalize meditation and mindfulness. The physical body is also given different value in the two geographic areas in Denmark; in Copenhagen we see a greater tendency to practice tough physical training - including fitness - while less physical training is primarily practiced in Guldborgsund. Furthermore, according to the chemical body, the use of medicine for treating- or preventing diseases is more common in Guldborgsund, while in Copenhagen it is common to use pharmaceutical drugs. Activities related to the surgery body are not in general related to well-being, body and health. However, there is a slight overweight of the use of surgery in Guldborgsund compared to Copenhagen. It is therefore concluded that investment in well-being, body and health are related to many different activities, depending on different social contexts as well as different structures - including preferences developed through childhood. For example, it appears that several informants practice the same sports as they did in their childhood, while their current diets reflect the dietary habits they grew up with. Furthermore, it is concluded that the values considered legitimate in the fields, sub-fields and social spaces, also has a significant impact on how to invest in well-being, body and health in order to achieve health capital. The common understandings determine the individual's experience of well-being, body and health and therefore major differences in what is added value appears. A variety of structures influence the individual's behavior. Specifically it is structures as age, gender, economy, childhood and social interaction that is found important to the way human beings behave. In addition, the profession as a preschool-teacher is one very important structure for investments in their well-being, body and health, because the profession demands a “correct” bodily appearance that meets the expectations for the work to be carried out in the best possible way.
Publication date31 May 2018
Number of pages120
ID: 280185855