‘The Lay Gaze’—Rural Norwegian men’s assessment of others’ health based on pictures
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionHervik, S. E. K. & Skille, E. Å. (2021). ‘The Lay Gaze’—Rural Norwegian men’s assessment of others’ health based on pictures. Sociology of Health & Illness. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9566.13368
In this article, we explore lay men's understanding of the relationship between other's bodily appearance and health— ‘the Lay Gaze’. We applied the theoreti-cal concepts of biopower, medical gaze, bodyism and healthism— the ideology where one feature is that a slim body is equivalent to a healthy body— and interviewed 18 adult and elderly men in rural Norway, representing a heterogeneous group regarding age, ethnicity and educa-tion. To explore the interviewees’ subjective perception or ‘gaze’, the interviewees were presented with eight pic-tures of different people. Our main findings were, first, that the sample of a relatively heterogeneous group of adult and elderly lay men in rural Norway talk similarly about body appearance and health and follow the heal-thism discourse with an embedded association between body appearance and health assessment. Second, we found some variation regarding how interviewees define other standards for the elderly and black people.