Teaching

Since taking up my position at the University of Waikato in 2006 I have taught two under-graduate level papers focused on the social-psychology of sport, leisure, exercise, and physical culture, and one graduate level paper that critically examines the theories, research and practice in sport, exercise and leisure psychology. In 2012, my teaching responsibilities changed so I am now teaching a first year course titled ‘Social and Cultural Aspects of Sport and Leisure’ and a third year course titled ‘Sport, Media and Society’. During my time as a Fulbright Visiting Scholar at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., I designed and taught a course titled ‘Sport and National Identity’.

SPLS101: Social and Cultural Aspects of Sport and Leisure.

This foundation paper examines the socio-cultural dimensions of sport and leisure by providing an introductory and comparative analysis of key social science disciplines: sociology, philosophy, psychology and history. Through this analysis, students gain understanding about what these disciplines focus on, how they construct knowledge and how this knowledge is useful for understanding sport and leisure. Students will be introduced to these different ways of knowing via the case of the moving human body in an array of sport and leisure contexts. In undertaking a comparative analysis of the disciplines, students gain skills of critical thinking, written communication and argument construction. They will also develop a multi-dimensional understanding of moving bodies in sport and leisure.

SPLS304: Sport, Media and Society.

This paper expands students’ critical sociocultural understanding of the media. Students develop knowledge of the production and consumption of various forms of media, and have the opportunity to develop skills in critical media analysis and production. Through theoretical analysis of media representations of the sporting and moving body, students will develop an intimate understanding of the power of the media to define, challenge and change our understandings of sport and leisure in society.

SPLS507: Sporting Bodies and Movement Culture

This paper provides each student with the sociological tools necessary to deepen their understanding of sport and movement culture in contexts of interest to them (e.g., coaching, health and physical education, outdoor education, dance, high performance sport). This paper provides each student with an opportunity to critically examine a variety of theoretical perspectives and research approaches to understand, explain and enhance the socio-cultural and psychological experiences of individuals and groups in sport and movement cultures. Ultimately, this course aims to help students recognize problems in their context of interest, and to develop strategies to create positive change in their own practices, sport and/or profession.

Postgraduate supervision

I am always interested in supervising postgraduate students in the area of sociology and socio-psychology of sport and physical culture, gender studies, and/or youth studies. While I will consider all requests for supervision, my personal research interests mean I am particularly well-suited to work with students interested in studying action or alternative sports, or other youth-focused physical movement cultures, in historical or contemporary contexts, using qualitative methods. To date, my graduate students have been awarded with University of Waikato PhD and Masters Scholarships, and Waikato Women’s Graduate Scholarship.

2013

Mihi Nemani (Wells): ‘Getting Deep': Bodyboarding culture in New Zealand (Masters ongoing, University of Waikato)

Grace O’Leary: Work hard, play hard: Sport and physical activity through the eyes of sex workers (Phd, just starting, University of Waikato)

Amy Marfell: New Zealand women and the netball body (PhD, ongoing, University of Waikato)

Anna-Liisa Ojala: Professional snowboarding in Finland (PhD, ongoing, University of Jyväskylä)

Karen Buckley: A history of public narratives and representations of sport in the Waikato (PhD, ongoing, University of Waikato)

2012

Mihi Nemani (Wells): ‘Getting Deep': Bodyboarding culture in New Zealand (Masters ongoing, University of Waikato)

Amy Marfell: New Zealand women and the netball body (PhD commencing mid 2012, University of Waikato)

Anna-Liisa Ojala: Professional snowboarding in Finland (PhD, ongoing, University of Jyväskylä)

Karen Buckley: A history of public narratives and representations of sport in the Waikato (PhD, ongoing, University of Waikato)

Hamish Crocket: Playing with ethics? A Foucauldian examination of the construction of ethical subjectivities in Ultimate Frisbee (PhD. under examination, University of Waikato)

2010

Chief supervisor for Amy Marfell (Four paper Masters): ‘Netball in the lives of New Zealand women: An intergenerational study’

Co-supervisor for Hamish Crocket PhD Thesis (in progress): ‘Lifestyle sports, participation and ethics: An examination of the relationship between lifestyle sports and value positions’

2009

Chief supervisor for Melissa Thomas (Three paper Masters awarded with First Class): ‘Young women’s negotiation of multiple fields of femininity and physicality in physical activity and Physical Education in an international school in Taiwan’

Co-supervisor for Hamish Crocket PhD Thesis (in progress)

2008

Second supervisor for Tony Ryks (Four paper Masters awarded with First Class): ‘Supportive environments for active living? A case study of local government discourses of the built and social environments and physical activity’