Sociocultural Studies of Sport, Health & the Body

Key Features of the Program and Degree (MA/PhD)

  • Individualized programs of study
  • Emphasis on interdisciplinarity
  • Rigourous training in critical and interpretive theory and qualitative research methods
  • Focus on the interconnectedness of sport, health and the body
  • Opportunity to conduct research that spans these realms
  • Commitment to progressive politics and social change

Philosophy and Purpose

The Socio-Cultural Studies area of study offers students the opportunity to interrogate critically the social, cultural, economic and political forces that shape the body, sport, health and physical activity.

Faculty and student research in our program explores sport, health and the body as crucial conduits for cultural values and for the production and reproduction of social relations of dominance and inequality. Our work in this respect is particularly concerned with the effects of social forces like class inequality, ableism, racialization, sizeism, sexual regulation, and gender on embodied existence. At the same time, our studies recognize the tremendous potential of bodily practices such as sex, eating, and physical activity to bring pleasure and meaning to individual lives and communities. To this end, current research projects within the program examine: the development of a critical sociology of obesity; "post-welfare," neo-liberal forms of social policy related to issues such as food, school nutrition programs, and breast cancer; relationships between bodies, styles of movement, and discourses about gender and sexuality; and, race, nationalism, and militarized sport.

The unique contribution of our program to graduate training in cultural studies, sociology and history of sport, health and the body lies in our focus on interdisciplinary, critical and interpretive approaches to these phenomena. Students are encouraged to take courses in other departments such as sociology, politics, history, gender studies, cultural studies and geography and to bring the theoretical and methodological approaches associated with those disciplines to bear on their own projects. Through coursework, reading groups, seminars and independent studies within the School, students are exposed to key paradigms (Marxism, feminism, post-structuralism, phenomenology, etc.) in the critical and interpretive study of sport, health, and the body. The program has been designed to allow students maximum flexibility in pursuing research topics of their own choosing. This flexibility brings much diversity to the program and provides an excellent chance for students to exercise their own creativity and originality. Each student is encouraged to take advantage of the expertise of all faculty members in the field and to make connections with faculty in other departments at the University.


Master’s students in our program are required to complete coursework, and write and orally defend their thesis.

Doctoral students are required to take coursework, write comprehensive exams, and complete and orally defend their original dissertation research.

We provide opportunities for students to attend academic conferences within Canada and internationally and encourage students to publish their own work.


Students are encouraged to apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) program, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding, and other agencies that fund graduate students.

Faculty Research Interests and Contact Information

Mary Louise Adams - Gender, sexuality, and feminism; sport and culture; sociology and history of exercise and fitness; theories of embodiment.

Samantha King - Cultural studies; social theory; the body, health and culture.

Elaine Power - Sociology of food; food and poverty; the body; childhood; qualitative methods.

King Research Group webpage


For further information contact
Graduate Coordinator 

School of Kinesiology and Health Studies
SKHS Building
28 Division Street, KHS 206
Queen's University
Kingston, Ontario K7L 3N6

Tel:  613-533-6000 x2666
Fax: 613-533-2009