1st Edition

Researching Difference in Sport and Physical Activity

Edited By Richard Medcalf, Chris Mackintosh Copyright 2019
    176 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    176 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Researching Difference in Sport and Physical Activity goes beyond the content of introductory research methods texts to provide an insight into the methodological hurdles that are experienced when researching ‘difference’ in Sport and Physical Activity. 

    Contributors reflect upon how the rhetoric of research methodology transfers into the reality of data collection across ‘difference’. Presenting case studies of real research projects, the book covers a range of topics, such as:

    • disability in sport and physical activity
    • vulnerable children in sport and physical activity
    • visual research tools when working with children in a primary school setting
    • physical activity, sedentary behaviour and obesity through childhood
    • diverse ethnic groups in sport and physical activity settings.

    Each chapter contends with practical issues of power and representation within the research process, to recognise how a researcher–participant relationship that considers those who are ‘othered’ serves to change the dynamics and processes of research. 

    This is an important resource for students of all sports related subjects and essential reading for anyone interested in the study of marginalised populations in sport and physical activity.

    1. Researching Difference

    Richard Medcalf and Chris Mackintosh

    2. The Research Process

    Richard Medcalf

    3. Using Interviews to Explore Experiences of Disability in Sport and Physical Activity

    James Brighton and Toni Williams

    4. ‘No Strings Attached’: Reflections on Using Puppets in Focus Group Interviews with Vulnerable Children in Sport and Physical Activity

    Tom Quarmby

    5. Using Visual Research Tools When Working with Children in a Primary School Setting

    Suzanne Everley

    6. Ethnography and Autoethnography in Researching a Masters Swimming Community

    Janet Hutchings, Ian Jones and Dorothy Fox

    7. Using a Scale to Explore Pre-service Physical Education Teachers’ Attitudes Towards Difference: Methodological Opportunities and Tensions

    Justen O’Connor, Laura Alfrey, Ruth Jeanes, and Dawn Penney

    8. Measuring Physical Activity, Sedentary Behaviour and Obesity Through Childhood

    Ash Routen

    9. Conducting Cross-cultural Research with Diverse Ethnic Groups in Sport and Physical Activity Settings

    Whitney Curry and Symeon Dagkas

    10. Research in Action

    Elizabeth Durden-Myers

    11. Researching Difference and Otherness: Next Steps and Challenges in Sport and Physical Activity

    Chris Mackintosh and Richard Medcalf


    Richard Medcalf is Director of the Institute of Sport and Human Science at the University of Wolverhampton, UK, and Vice-Chair of Sport4Life UK, a Birmingham-based charity which exists to transform the lives of young people through the power of sport. He has published on issues primarily related to inclusive practice in sport and physical education.

    Chris Mackintosh is Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. He is a National Advisor to England Golf, the Sport and Recreation Alliance and Antigua and Barbuda governments, and is working with the Japan 2020 Olympics as an invited Policy Advisor on ‘soft participation legacy’. He has worked with policy stakeholders including Sport England, The Equality and Human Rights Commission, FA, RFU, Rugby Football League and many local authorities on national strategies, and bespoke academic research projects. He was the lead Academic Advisor on the outdoor recreation Reconomics (2014) and Reconomics Plus (2017) reports that underpinned policy advocacy and two parliamentary debates on the value of outdoor recreation in the UK. In 2017–2018 he undertook the independent review of the United Kingdom Coaching Certificate (UKCC).