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Children's feeding programs in Atlantic Canada: some Foucauldian theoretical concepts in action


  • Dayle, Jutta B.
  • McIntyre, Lynn


Since 1989 the number of Canadian children depending on food banks has increased by more than 85%. To combat perceived hunger, breakfast and lunch programs have been initiated by localized volunteer efforts. This paper attempts to show the Foucauldian concepts of power, truths, space and time in action in feeding programs in Atlantic Canada. A potential 'relation of docility-utility' is imposed upon children by providers of feeding programs and ultimately the state. The 'power over life' or 'micro-physics of power' is accomplished through procedures that use food, rules, rewards, reinforcements, space, time, and truths. Children voluntarily subject themselves to this relation while reserving the power to resist through acts of defiance or by not attending at all. This ability to exercise one's agency allows for shifting power relations in the social dynamics of feeding programs. The potentially coercive nature of these relationships is embedded in the pleasurable environment generated by the feeding process.

Suggested Citation

  • Dayle, Jutta B. & McIntyre, Lynn, 2003. "Children's feeding programs in Atlantic Canada: some Foucauldian theoretical concepts in action," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 313-325, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:57:y:2003:i:2:p:313-325

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