Children’s Bodies

One cookie per chid - Christmas at the KindergartenFeatured articles: 

Open access: Kontopodis, Michalis (2015). How and Why Should Children Eat Fruit and Vegetables? Ethnographic Insights into Diverse Body Pedagogies. Social Science & Medicine, 143, 297-303. Summary:

Much recent scholarship in the field of sociology of childhood has analyzed the disciplinary and regulatory strategies for governing children’s bodies in the name of “health” and “life” in North/Western Europe, North America, and Australia. These analyses problematize how formal and informal pedagogies are shaped by biomedical knowledge, popular media images, and neoliberal agendas in ways not always for the benefit of the children in question. Little research, however, has explored the body pedagogies developed within grass-roots movements concerned with children’s health and well-being; furthermore, little research has explored these topics outside the North American or European space. Following a comparative ethnographic approach, I explore the differences in how and why children eat fruit and vegetables in a) public kindergartens and b) allotment gardens in Berlin, Germany, as well as in c) Landless Workers’ settlements in Espírito Santo, Brazil. The qualitative analysis reveals that bio- pedagogical concerns often intermingle with ecological as well as broader societal issues, depending on the concrete context in question. This, in turn, poses new questions concerning our understandings of “biopower” and “biopolitics.”

Open Access: Kontopodis, Michalis & Perret-Clermont, Anne-Nelly (2016). Educational Settings as Interwoven Socio-Material Orderings: An Introduction. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 31(1),1-12.

Open Access: Kontopodis, Michalis (2013). Eating Christmas cookies, whole-wheat bread and frozen chicken in the kindergarten: doing pedagogy by other means. Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft/ Journal of Educational Science, 16(2), 123-138.

Open Access: Kontopodis, Michalis. (2013). Biomedicine, Psychology and the Kindergarten: Children at Risk and Emerging Knowledge PracticesSport, Education and Society, 18(4), 475-493.

Open Access: Kontopodis, Michalis (2012). How Things Matter in Everyday Lives of Preschool Age Children: Material-Semiotic Investigations in Psychology and EducationJournal für Psychologie, 20(2), 1-14. Open access also here: http://www.journal-fuer-psychologie.de/index.php/jfp/article/view/116

German: Kontopodis, Michalis; Margit Schütz-Foerste, Gerda & Foerste, Erineu (2016). „Wir leben nicht nur vom Essen“: Einschränkungen der Agrarökologie, die Gefahr des Konsumismus und die Pädagogik der Erde in der Landlosenbewegung in Brasilien. In: Birgit Althans & Johannes Bilstein (Eds) Essen, Bildung, Konsum: Pädagogisch-anthropologische Perspektiven (pp. 267-288). Wiesbaden: Springer VS-Verlag.

German: Kontopodis, Michalis (2013). Von einer geteilten Vergangenheit zu einer gemeinsamen Zukunft und vice versa: Pädagogik, Agrarökologie und Solidarität in der Landlosenbewegung in Espírito Santo, Brasilien (From Shared Pasts to Common Futures and Back: Agroecology, Solidarity and Pedagogy in the Landless Movement in Espírito Santo, Brazil). Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften, 2 (German Journal of Cultural Sciences).

French: Kontopodis, Michalis (2014). De l’importance des choses dans la vie quotidienne des enfants d’âge pré-scolaire. Enquêtes ethnographiques en psychologie du développement et en éducation. In C. Moro & N. Muller-Mirza (Eds.), Sémiotique, culture e développement psychologique (pp. 195-204). Paris: Editions du Septentrion.

Review of Lee, N. Childhood and Biopolitics: Reframing the Bio-Social in Child Research: Review of Lee, N. (2013). Childhood and Biopolitics: Climate Change, Life Processes and Human Futures. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. By Michalis Kontopodis in Outlines: Critical Practice Studies, 16(1), 81-85.

See also: 30 years of Landless Becoming in Espírito Santo, Brazil: An avant-garde political-pedagogical project

Edited Volumes: 

Kontopodis M., Niewöhner J., & Beck St. (Guest Eds). Investigating Emerging Biomedical Practices: Zones of Awkward Engagement on Different Scales. Science, Technology & Human Values, 2011, 36 (5)

STHVcoverSummary: This special issue of Science, Technology, & Human Values critically explores a new stage in which the life sciences and biomedical practices have entered. This new stage is marked by postgenomic developments and an increased interest of life sciences in the everyday lives of people outside laboratories and clinical settings. Furthermore, particular attention is given to many chronic and degenerative disorders such as cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, or developmental disorders. These developments coincide—or have become entangled—with a new set of interests that an anthropologically inclined science and technology studies (STS) is bringing to the analyses of biomedical practices. An increased interest is observed in the anthropologically inclined STS in studying phenomena on different scales and in exploring fields that are not readily dominated by technoscientific rationality in practice. The introduction to the special issue examines briefly these developments and situates them in a broader genealogy of different movements that have taken place in the anthropologically inclined subfield of STS since the late 1970s and early 1980s. For internal use with password the introduction is available here: KontopodisetalSTHV2011

Kontopodis, Michalis & Niewöhner, Jörg (eds.) (2011) Das Selbst als Netzwerk: Zum Einsatz von Körpern und Dingen im Alltag (The Self as Network: On the Employment of Bodies and Things in the Everyday). Bielefeld: transcript.

Seit Michel Foucault werden mit »Technologien des Selbst« Praktiken bezeichnet, mit denen die Menschen derart auf sich und ihre Lebensumstände einwirken, dass ihre Leben gewissen ästhetischen Vorstellungen zu entsprechen beginnen. Der Band beschäftigt sich mit diesen Transformationsprozessen und untersucht, wie in bestimmten Alltagspraxen Selbstkonzepte und damit assoziierte Praktiken immer wieder neu konfiguriert, in neue Beziehungen gesetzt und verändert werden. Besondere Aufmerksamkeit widmen die ethnographischen Beiträge dabei der Rolle von Körper und Technologie.

Open access here through academia.edu

Review of this book in English: 

Chimirri, Niklas Alexander (2012). Review: Michalis Kontopodis & Jörg Niewöhner (Eds.) (2010). Das Selbst als Netzwerk. Zum Einsatz von Körpern und Dingen im Alltag [The Self as Network: On Everyday Uses of Bodies and Things]Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13(2), Art.7, http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs120270.

Answer to the review in German:
Michalis Kontopodis: Review Essay: Das “Politische” in den Science & Technology Studies. Eine Replik auf: Niklas Alexander Chimirri (2012). Review: Michalis Kontopodis & Joerg Niewoehner (Hrsg.) (2010). Das Selbst als Netzwerk
http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs1202242

Further publications: 

Niewöhner, J., Döring, M., Kontopodis, M., Madarász, J., & Heintze, C. (2011). Cardiovascular Disease and Obesity Prevention in Germany: An Investigation into a Heterogeneous Engineering Project. Science, Technology & Human Values. 36, 5: 723-751, doi:10.1177/0162243910392797

Kontopodis M., Niewöhner J., & Beck St. (Guest Eds) (2011). Investigating Emerging Biomedical Practices: Zones of Awkward Engagement on Different Scales. Science, Technology & Human Values, 36 (5)

Niewöhner, Jörg & Kontopodis, Michalis (2011). Kardiovaskuläre Prävention als Technik zur Bildung von Leben selbst. Eine ethnographische Untersuchung. In: Janina Kehr, Joelle Vailly, and Jörg Niewöhner (eds) Leben Und Gesellschaft. Biomedizin, Politik, Sozialwissenschaften (pp. 271-298). Bielefeld: transcript.

Published also in French: Jörg Niewöhner & Kontopodis, Michalis (2011). La prévention cardiovasculaire comme technique de formation à la vie elle-même. Une étude ethnographique. In: Janina Kehr, Joelle Vailly, and Jörg Niewöhner (eds) De la vie biologique à la vie sociale: Approches sociologiques et anthropologiques. (pp. 242-267) Paris: La Decouverte.

In Greek: Μιχάλης Κοντοπόδης (2013). Αναλύοντας υλικές-σημειωτικές διευθετήσεις στην καθημερινή ζωή: Προς μια νέα μεθοδολογία έρευνας στην Εκπαιδευτική Ψυχολογία και τις Κοινωνικές Επιστήμες. Στο: Μ. Πουρκός (Επιμ.) (2013). Δυνατότητες και Όρια της Μείξης των Μεθοδολογιών στην Κοινωνική, Ψυχολογική και Εκπαιδευτική Έρευνα: Επιστημολογικά και Μεθοδολογικά Ζητήματα των Προοπτικών Διεύρυνσης του Ερευνητικού Σχεδιασμού (σσ. 517-528). Αθήνα: Ίων.

Visual Works

Obesity Politics: A Comparison of two Berlin Kindergartens with the Same Obesity Prevention Program (Short Film, 12′). First Screenings: Parent Meeting, Sportskindergarten Wedding, Berlin, Germany: February 20, 2009. Workshop of the Health, Humanity & Culture Group, Copenhagen, Denmark: March 12-13, 2009. Department of Anthropology, New York University, USA: April 24, 2009; Congress of the American Anthropological Association, Philadelphia, USA: December 2-6, 2009.

Material-Semiotic Re-configurations at the Landless Movement in Espirito Santo, Brazil, 2010 (Short Film, 15’) – Available online: http://landlessmov2010.wordpress.com/. First Screening: Department of Anthropology, Panteion University of Athens, Greece: April 6, 2011.

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