Richard Pringle


1990 …2021

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Personal profile


I joined the Faculty of Education in 2018 as Professor of Sport, Health and Physical Education. I have worked in tertiary education since 1992. My research and teaching is primarily within the broader sociology of sport and health/physical education fields and is underpinned by a critical interest to promote issues of social justice. I am particularly interested in how people are shaped by the workings of power and how, in turn, power relations can be shaped by people. Through examining how power ‘works’, I am hopeful that we can make a positive difference in people’s lives, particularly in the contexts of sport, health and physical education, active leisure, ‘embodiment’ and exercise. 


Prior to coming to Monash University, I have worked at the University of Auckland (as Associate Dean Postgraduate Research within the Faculty of Education and Social Work), University of Waikato and Auckland University of Technology. I have also taught health and physical education and economics at secondary schools.

Research interests

I am a critical qualitative researcher who primarily draws from post-structural theorists to examine socio-cultural and pedagogical issues associated with sport, HPE and exercise, particularly in relation to: injury and pain; gender/sexualities; health, fitness, obesity; embodiment; sports media, the Olympics and elite sport governance, youth sport and coaching. My doctorate drew on Foucauldian tools to critically examine rugby union’s influence on masculinities and gender relations in Aotearoa New Zealand.


I currently serve on the editorial boards of the International Review for the Sociology of Sport (since 2014) and Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education. I have previously been the associate editor for the Sociology of Sport Journal (2010-12) and I have served on the editorial boards of the Sociology of Sport Journal (2008-09) Annals of Leisure Research (2006-2018) and the Asia Pacific Journal of Health, Sport and Physical Education (2010-2017).


I am the co-author of Foucault, Sport and Exercise: Power, Knowledge and transforming the Self (with Pirkko Markula) and Sport and the Social Significance of Pleasure (with Robert Rinehart and Jayne Caudwell) and co-editor of Examining Sport Histories (with Murray Phillips). I have also co-edited two special editions of Annals of Leisure Research (Vol 142011, double volume: 181 p.: with Ruth Sibson) and (Vol 10, 2007, double volume 337 p.: with Tess Kay and John Jenkins).


I am currently co-editing a book with Hakan Larsson and Göran Gerdin that aims to explore the difference that critical research has made in the context of sport, physical and health education.

Supervision interests

I am always interested in talking to prospective graduate students about their research interests and how I could help them. I am particularly interested in working with students who aspire to be critical qualitative researchers. Given my interdisciplinary background I have supervised students who have drawn on a range of methods (e.g. ethnography, Foucualdian analysis, narrative inquiry, in-depth interviews, participant-observation, genealogy, 'new' materialist approaches, and phenomenology) and have examined a range of topics, including:


• E-motion: guilt and women’s bodies  

• Performing masculinities in school physical education  

• Lifestyle sports, participation and ethics

• A Foucauldian genealogy of women’s football in New Zealand

• Formula one, ‘agency’ and the fan  

• Using social theories to explore female youth physical culture (snow-boarding)

• International students: linguistics, power and schooling

• Schooling, physical culture and homosexualities

• Chinese women’s understandings of western sport

Research area keywords

  • sport sociology
  • physical education
  • health education
  • genders/sexualities
  • pain and injury
  • Foucault
  • Qualitative Research Methodologies
  • poststructuralism
  • (new) materialism
  • pleasure/affect
  • critical research
  • Ethnography


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