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Politics, cultures, and marginalised/under-represented communities/groups: deconstructing the identities of coaches and/or leaders in sport, exercise or physical activity

Project Description

The University of Worcester is seeking to grow its research capacity in the socio-cultural aspects of sport, exercise, and physical activity. In particular, the University wishes to strengthen its research on the varied roles of sport and physical cultures may have in the (re)construction of identities of marginalised, excluded and under-represented communities. To this end, the University of Worcester is offering ONE full time, fully funded, PhD studentship in the following general topic area:

Politics, cultures, and marginalised/under-represented communities/groups: deconstructing the identities of coaches and/or leaders in sport, exercise or physical activity

With a specific emphasis on sport, exercise and/or physical activity culture, the project will provide a critical exploration of the identity formation, localised experiences, professional learning and/or notions of community among a chosen demographic. There has been sustained research on the lives and experiences of communities, boundary interactions relating to professional learning, and interventions with marginalised and under-represented social groups. Yet, in the current political climate, there is a growing need for continued studies of the complex contexts in which communities reside within the United Kingdom and the roles sport and physical activity practices may play in these settings.

The project takes on particular significance in light of historical and contemporary demographic shifts in the UK, domestic and international responses to mobility ‘crises’, potential consequences of ‘revised’ relations with European Union, local political concerns over national citizenry, (dis)enfranchisement, the Conservative government’s sport strategy (DCMS 2015), coaching policy (Sport England, 2016), digital and social activism, and continued inequities and turbulence in local sport and council funding. Furthermore, the discourse surrounding the under-representation of numerous societal groups (e.g., women, BAME, disabled) in almost all areas of sport, exercise and physical activity continues unabated. Despite such discourse contouring sport, exercise and physical activity experiences, questions remain with regard to the realities of individuals’ daily experiences, the value(s) of sport, exercise and physical practices within community formation, broader social integration, professional learning and the appropriateness (or otherwise) of related policy developments.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to draw upon the interdisciplinary expertise of the supervisory team. In addition, the successful candidate will be incorporated into the existing activities of the Gender, Identity and the Body (GIB) and Coaching, Pedagogy and Practice Research Interest Groups (RIG), the wider University and School of Sport & Exercise. It is also expected that the successful candidate will make connections to key stakeholders within the region with regard to local/regional councils, community groups and related support groups/networks, service providers, and sport, exercise and physical culture groups.

Funding Notes

During the period of your studentship you will receive the following:
• a tax free bursary of £15,009 for a period of 3 years
• a fee-waiver for 4 years
• a budget to support your project costs for the first 3 years of the project
• a laptop
• use of the Research Student Study Space in the Research School

You will play an active role in the life of both the Research School and of the School. You will be given opportunities to gain experience in learning and teaching under the guidance of your Director of Studies.

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