Kultur på Recept: En biopolitisk intervention

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    The purpose of this master thesis is to study the area of Arts and Health in Denmark through ´Arts on Prescription´ which is a pilot project funded by The Danish Health Authority. It has been practically tested through four municipal initiatives. Through a bio-political gaze it is investigated how the project is administered and communicated at both a national and municipal level. In this connection, I draw on the municipality of Nyborg as a case study.
    The theoretical and methodological foundation of the thesis evolves around the WPR approach; ´What´s the problem represented to be´, which is a Foucault-inspired poststructural analysis that reflects on how we citizens are governed through policies. The objective is to interrogate a policy through critical analysis and to study the problematizations it produces. Policies are understood broadly, and the approach can be applied to many different types of material, such as public policy, governmental technologies, websites, and interviews.
    The WPR approach consist of six interconnected questions which has inspired the four analytical questions in this master thesis. In the first part of the analysis, I seek to elaborate on the bio-political technologies that produces ´Arts on Prescription´ at a national level. The second part of the analysis is an investigation of how these technologies are carried out at a municipal level. The study is based on a qualitative examination whereby the WPR approach is applied to policies consisting of; a public policy Udmøntning af satspuljen “Kultur på Recept”; an interview with the former political health spokesperson from Alternativet (Å) named Carolina Magdalena Meier; an interview with the ´Arts on Prescription´ project manager from the municipality of Nyborg named Line Schmidt Hendriksen; and a brochure from the municipality of Nyborg called ‘Fristed. Fællesskab. Fortælling’.
    In the first part of the analysis I find three key themes that evolves around the production of truth discourses in the project; ´Health discourses´, ´Cultural understanding´, and ´Citizens on a long term sick leave´. In the second part of the analysis, I seek to determine whether these truth discourses are reproduced at a municipal level.
    The results of the study show that ´Arts on Prescription´ is a bio-political intervention used to discipline and regulate both; the municipality of Nyborg as well as citizens on long term sick leave due to mild to moderate depression, anxiety, and stress. Furthermore, through ´the conduct of conduct´ theory, this biopolitical intervention seeks to educate and form citizens through self-governing practices constituted by cultural activities.
    This study concludes that ´Arts on Prescription´ as a biopolitical intervention produces two kinds of governmentalities. At a national level the types of truth discourses produced are different than the ones at a municipal level, even though both governmentalities are administered and communicated through the same biopolitical technologies.
    Moreover, this study concludes that knowledge concerning arts as health promotion is lacking in in Denmark, all though the municipal level operates through a holistic health discourse concerning benefits of arts in health. Nevertheless, ´Arts on Prescription´ at both levels are governed through a neoliberal governmentality that seeks to increase the utility of its citizens.
    Original languageDanish
    Publication date27. Jun 2018
    PublisherInstitut for Kulturvidenskab, Syddansk Universitet
    Number of pages98
    Publication statusPublished - 27. Jun 2018

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