Project: Critical research in sport, health and physical education: Are we making a difference?

The prime aim of this project, is to examine the influence of critical scholarship and critical theory in the overlapping fields of sport, PE and Health with respect to various social issues.

In paraphrasing Marx, if we believe that the aim of critical research is 'not just to know social reality but to change it', then what impact does our critical research have (or why does it matter)? In this project, we have been influenced by Pirkko Markula and Michael Silk's ideas on mapping, critiquing and social change. With respect to mapping a particular research field, we are interested in understanding how a field has developed, what issues have been examined, what theoretical and methodological approaches have been used and what knowledges have been constructed.

In relation to this 'mapping' exercise, we are then interested in what critiques have been developed and how they articulate with the development and enactment of strategies or policies for social change. In cases where critical research appears to have had influence in association with encouraging social change, we are then interested in attempting to understand why this might have occurred and how the ideas have been used.

The findings of this project will be published by Routledge in 2017 as an edited book.