Richard Pringle


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1990 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile


I am Professor of Sport, Health and Physical Education in the School of Curriculum, Teaching and Inclusive Education. My research predominantly focuses on social in/justices as related to genders, ethnicites and sexualities within the contexts of sport, health and schooling. I have a particular interest in challenging problematic behaviours in hypermasculine settings, such as in high speed collision sports (e.g. rugby union) and in more recent years, the mining industry.  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. 

I have previously worked at the University of Auckland, the University of Waikato and Auckland University of Technology. In a previous life  I 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. I am interested in how we can use research to make a critical difference in people's lives. 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 European Journal for Sport and Society, the International Review for the Sociology of Sport (since 2014) and Curriculum Studies in Health and Physical Education. I am also an Associate Editor for the The History, Culture and Sociology of Sports: Frontiers in Sport and Active Living. 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: Power, paradigms, and reflexivity (with Murray Phillips) and Critical Research in sport, health and physical education: how to make a difference (with Goran Gerdin and Hakan Larsson). 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).



Supervision interests

I am 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

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

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

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or