Social Science of Sport and Physical Activity Research

Research within this area addresses the essential sociocultural nature of sport and physical activity. Our work critically examines the multi-layered challenges, opportunities and complexities associated with participation in sport and informs debates about policy, practice, and educational provision.

Key areas of investigation include:

  • Mental health:
  • Child maltreatment & safeguarding in sport:
    • Edge Hill has been conducting and publishing ground breaking research with ‘outstanding’ impact in this field for over a decade and SSSPAR staff work with many industry partners such as the Rugby Football League, NWG Network, the Child Protection in Sport Unit, Survivors Manchester, Street Games, ENGSO and many others. Our research, advocacy and industry collaborations underpin our sector-leading modules in safeguarding and athlete welfare. Further details of specific projects are available here.

 

  • Governance and policy of sport (previously The cultures & governance of sports work):
    • Work focuses on how policy is interpreted, applied and assessed by sports organisations and stakeholders within the sporting sector. Further details of specific projects are available here.

 

  • Emotion & embodied experience in sport and physical activity:
    • Under this broad heading the physically active body is the focus for several projects in varied contexts. In PE, embodiment and the sociology of the body is being used to explain the embodied narratives of teachers and notions of power within schools. Equally, a pedagogical emphasis is adopted alongside the use of technology within gymnastics. In terms of physical culture, the senses and the sociology of the senses provide the focus for ethnographic research in alternative sports such as bouldering. Further details of specific projects are available here.

 

  • Pedagogical practice & professional development in PE & sports coaching:
    • This strand encompasses investigations relating to the socio-cultural and pedagogical practices associated with physical education and coaching. More specifically, projects include: critical pedagogies involving technology, pedagogical discourses around touch in PE, the practices of coaches/teachers within various contexts, and interventions to support practitioners’ development and policy. Further details of specific projects are available here.
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