Sociocultural Studies of Sport, Health & the Body

Faculty and student research includes exploration into sport, health and the body as crucial conduits for cultural values and for the production and reproduction of social relations of dominance and inequality. Work is particularly concerned with the effects of social forces like class inequality, ableism, racialization, sizeism, sexual regulation, and gender on embodied existence. 

Degree Options

Master of Arts (MA)

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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Career Opportunities

Public Policy Consultant/Advisor/Writer

Public Servant

Elementary and high school teacher

Sport and Recreation Advocate

Pharmaceutical Representative


Program Highlights


The graduate program offers students the opportunity to interrogate critically the social, cultural, economic and political forces that shape the body, sport, health and physical activity.

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Individualized programs of study, emphasis on interdisciplinarity, rigorous 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.

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.


Eligible students are required to apply to the Ontario Graduate Scholarships (OGS) program; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and/or the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) funding; and other agencies that fund graduate students.

Research Mini-Stream