Dr. Samantha King, Ph.D (Illinois)

Professor, Tenured
Area of Expertise: 
Sociocultural Studies of Sport, Health and the Body
Contact Information
613-533-6000 x74688
KHS 301V

Research summary

My research interests straddle a number of fields and disciplines, including cultural studies, sociology, feminist and queer theory, and critical race studies. I understand health, sport, and the body to be powerful vehicles for the production of social difference and I use my work to uncover how these vehicles operate and with what effects. The specific issues I have studied include consumer-oriented breast cancer philanthropy http://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/pink-ribbons-inc, representations of HIV/AIDS, and the relationship between queer athletes, commercial sport culture and militarization. Although these topics seem disparate, in each case I have explored how powerful notions of healthy and unhealthy citizenship are produced, consumed, and occasionally resisted.

My book, Pink Ribbons, Inc: Breast Cancer and the Politics of Philanthropy is the subject of an NFB documentary by the same name http://www.nfb.ca/film/pink_ribbons_inc_trailer/.

Graduate student training opportunities

Graduate students with an interest in the sociology or cultural studies of health, sport, and the body are encouraged to contact me.

Prospective students are expected to apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarship programs, SSHRC, CIHR, and other agencies that fund graduate students.

Current funding

Please contact Dr. King for further details

Recent publications



King, S. (2006). Pink ribbons, Inc: Breast cancer and the politics of philanthropy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Special Issues

King, S. and McDonald, M. (Eds.) (2007). (Post)identity and sporting cultures. Sociology of Sport Journal, 24(1).

Refereed Journal Articles (selected)

Adams M.L., Davidson, J., Jamieson, K., Helstein, M., Kyoung-Yim, K., King, S., McDonald, M.G., & Rail, G. (2016). Feminist cultural studies: Uncertainties and possibilities. Sociology of Sport Journal, 33.

King, S. (2014). Oxy in Ontario: The multiple materialities of prescription drugs. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25, 486-493.

King, S. (2014). Beyond the war on drugs? Prescription opioids and the NFL. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 38, 184-193.

King, S., Carey, R.S., Jinnah, N., Millington, R., Phillipson, A., Prouse, C., and Ventresca, M. (2014). When is a drug not a drug? Brett Favre, prescription painkillers, and the National Football League. Sociology of Sport Journal, 31, 249-266.

King, S. (2013) Philanthrocapitalism and the healthification of everything. International Political Sociology, 1, 96-98.

Yoon, L. and King, S. (2012). “Dae-han-min-guk”: The “Red Devils,” Korean identity, and the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Asian Journal of Exercise and Sports Science, 9, 13-35.

McDonald, M. and King, S. (2012). A different contender? Barack Obama, the 2008 presidential campaign and the racial politics of sport. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 35(6), 1023-1039.

King, S. (2010). Pink diplomacy: On the uses and abuses of breast cancer awareness. Health Communication, 25, 286-289.

King, S. (2009). Homonormativity and the politics of race: Reading Sheryl Swoopes. Journal of Lesbian Studies, 13, 279-290.

King, S. (2009). Sociocultural sport studies and the scientific paradigm: A response to John Smith. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise, 2, 101-106. (Invited).

King, S. (2009). Virtually normal: Mark Bingham, the war on terror, and the sexual politics of sport. Journal of Sport and Social Issues, 33, 5-24.

King, S. (2008). What’s queer about (queer) sport sociology now? A review essay. Sociology of Sport Journal, 25, 419-442.

Book Chapters (selected)

King, S. (2016). In defence of realist tales. In B. Smith & A.C. Sparkes (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research in sport and exercise. London: Routledge.

King, S. (2015). Poststructuralism and the sociology of sport. In R. Giulianotti (Ed). Routledge Handbook of the Sociology of Sport (pp. 94-104). London: Routledge.  

King, S. (2013). Buckets for the cure: Do the benefits of cause related marketing outweigh the costs? In J. Greenberg and C. Elliott (Eds.), Communication in Question: Competing perspectives in controversial issues in Communication Studies. Scarborough, ON: Nelson Publishing.

King, S. (2012). Nike U: Full-program athletic contracts and the corporate university. In D. L. Andrews and M. Silk (Eds.), Sport and neoliberalism (pp. 75-89). Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

King, S. (2012). Civic fitness: The body politics of commodity activism. In S. Banet-Weiser and R. Mukherjee (Eds.), Commodity activism: Cultural resistance in neoliberal times (pp. 199-218). New York University Press.

King, S. (2011). Pink ribbons go corporate. In P. Donnelly (Ed.), Taking sport seriously: Social issues in Canadian sport. Toronto: Thompson Educational Publishing. (Part reprint/part new text).

King, S. (2011). Contesting the closet: Sheryl Swoopes, racialized sexuality, and media culture. In D. J. Leonard and C. Richard King (Eds.), Commodified and criminalized: New racism and African Americans in contemporary sports (pp. 203-222). Plymouth UK: Rowman & Littlefield.

King, S. (2010). Pink ribbons, inc: The emergence of cause-related marketing and the corporatization of the breast cancer management. In P. Saukko &L. Reed (Eds.), Governing the female body: Science, media, and the production of femininity (pp. 85-111). Albany, NY: SUNY Press.