Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
I am interested in the understanding that sociology brings to the study of sport and physical movement. Sport varies wildly across time periods and cultures, yet we often tend to think of it as a 'fixed' or 'static' entity. What are the social and historical factors that bring changes to the values that people have related to their experiences of sport and other forms of physical movement? What has led to the myth that sport is 'fixed'? I have a particular interest in the use of performance-enhancing substances in international, high-performance sport, especially in the Olympic Games, however this interest is part of a much larger one related to the development of one particular, yet powerful form of sport that emerged primarly in the latter half of the twentieth century -- 'high-performance' sport. The book "Fastest, Highest, Strongest: A Critique of High-Performance Sport" (London and New York: Routledge, 2006), co-authored with colleague Rob Beamish from Queen's University, critically examines these issues, including the development of banned substance policies in sport, banned substance use, the health and rights of athletes, and the historical development of high-performance sport in the post-WWII era. I am also interested in the relationship between media and sport, specifically the development of television and television rights in the Olympic Games; gender construction in sport, specifically the history of "sex testing" policies in international competitions; the historical development of the application of science towards the achievement of performance in elite, high-performance sport; and finally, general aspects of the Olympic Games.