Social Theory & Health

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 1–19 | Cite as

Perpetuating the utopia of health behaviourism: A case study of the Canadian Men’s Health Foundation’s Don’t Change Much initiative

  • Rachel Kirkland
  • Dennis Raphael
Original Article


The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation (CMHF) receives significant funding and media attention for its Don’t Change Much initiative, which claims freely chosen small behavioural changes will improve men’s health across Canada. The enthusiastic support for the CMHF’s individual lifestyle interventions that take no account of the structural drivers of men’s health and health inequalities is considered through an application of Ruth Levitas’ utopian analysis exercise. We consider the utopian visions that permeate the CMHF’s initiative and examine its culture through the lens of discursive institutionalism to identify the hegemonic values that imbue CMHF’s and other Canadian health promotion activities. We then suggest more useful directions for improving men’s health and reducing the health inequalities that pervade the Canadian scene.


Health behaviourism Health inequalities Utopian thinking Health promotion Discursive institutionalism 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.York UniversityTorontoCanada

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