Haute health entanglements: asocial semiotic review of #cleaneating on Instagram and its relevance to health education

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


    Social media practices in relation to food, health and the self are omnipresent and contain wide-ranging biopedagogical potential (Rail & Shannon, 2015). This includes prescriptive, egalitarian, privileged, emancipatory and satirical health related mind-body entanglements. While public health authorities have co-opted social media as a platform for health-related behaviour change initiatives (Laranjo et al, 2015), simultaneously, a raft of wellness industry related content is curated. Behind this flow of multimodal content, the backend of social media platforms (algorithms of visibility) also shape everyday exposure to food and health related content and platform architectures themselves also mean that health knowledge becomes more or less authoritative in delivery. In this paper three angles of exploration and analysis are applied to the social media context of food and nutrition in health education. The first angle is to review the literature on social media practices and food pedagogies. Secondly, a social semiotic analysis (similar to others’, Herman, 2017 and LaMarre & Rice, 2017) of the hashtag ‘cleaneating’ on Instagram is reviewed by paying attention to the complexity of imagery, geotagging and verbiage. This analysis seeks to move educators beyond common analyses of body-positive versus disordered eating binaries (for instance, Lupton, 2017; Musolino et al. 2015) and examine the salience of economic privilege and what I call an 50 aesthetics of ‘haute health’ in the vernacular of online health related content and expertise. The third angle of exploration is to theorise a contemporary socio-critical set of guiding principles for educators in relation to social media and health education contexts.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    EventInternational Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise 2018 - University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
    Duration: 6 Jun 20188 Jun 2018
    Conference number: 6th


    ConferenceInternational Conference on Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise 2018
    Abbreviated titleQRSE 2018
    Internet address

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