Foucault's progeny: Jamie Oliver and the art of governing obesity

  • Warin M
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Abstract

Jamie Oliver is an English celebrity chef who has publicly politicised the relationships between class and food in Britain. No longer a simple chef, Oliver is presented as an evangelical saint, salvation of British school dinners, advocate for young disadvantaged kids, and now with his latest series Ministry of Food, a saviour of the British obesity epidemic. In this series, the population of Rotherham is surveilled and targeted as representative of poor eating habits and lifestyles in Britain. In need of urgent intervention, the townsfolk are urged to make themselves anew and 'fight' their way out of the obesity epidemic. Moving beyond a mechanistic application of Foucault, this article examines the intersections of different technologies that give rise to specific lifestyle interventions, and the forms of resistance they generate. Through a con-vergence of the cultural technology of reality TV and technologies of self-governance, this article argues that a novel form of obesity intervention is being re-invented in a health promoting, neoliberal environment.

Author-supplied keywords

  • governmentality
  • health promotion
  • obesity
  • reality TV
  • resistance
  • technologies

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Authors

  • Megan Warin

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