Dr Belinda Wheaton

Belinda Wheaton

Associate Professor

Qualifications: PhD.

About Belinda

I joined Sport and Leisure Studies in February 2015 as Associate Professor in Te Oranga, (the School of Human Development and Movement Studies). I am a sociologist and teach on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in Sport and Leisure Studies. I am  co- leader in Postgraduate Studies in Te Oranga, and convenor of the Spirt and Leisure Studies masters programme.

Previously I was a Reader/ Principal Research Fellow in Sport and Leisure Cultures in the School of Sport and Service Management at the University of Brighton, and remain a Visiting Fellow.

I am best know for my research on the politics of identity in lifestyle sport, which include a monograph, The Cultural Politics of Lifestyle Sports (2013), and edited collections including Understanding Lifestyle Sport (2004), and The Representation and Consumption of Lifestyle Sport (2012). I am also co-editor of Leisure and Environmental Politics (2013).

Research Interests

My research interests lie broadly within the politics of popular culture, and I have adopted various qualitative methodologies, from ethnography to media analysis. I have focused much of my empirical research on the cultural politics of 'lifestyle sport cultures', including how identity and difference are embodied - particularly around gender and 'race', their globalization, their subcultural media consumption, and the environmental and body politics associated with their lifestyles. I am also interested in the role of informal sports in addressing sport and youth policy objectives. Other research projects have included transnational migration, sport and film, and sport and environmentalism.

Postgraduate supervision: I am willing to consider the supervision of graduate and postgraduate students interested in working in the fields of sociology, cultural studies and medias studies with sport, leisure and popular culture as the focus. Please do get in touch.

Current projects include:

Coordinating a seminar series on The social benefits of informal and lifestyle sports funded by the Uk Economic and Social Research Council [ESRC], 2015-17. (see I am co-editing a special issue of the International Journal of Sport Politics and Policy based on this theme.

Youth Perceptions of the Olympic Games: Attitudes Towards Action Sports at the YOG and Olympic Games' with Dr Holly Thorpe, (Also University of Waikato) funded by the IOC's Advanced Olympic Research Grant Programme 2015/6. For an overview of this project see our interview on National Radio aired Thursday July 16th (

I am co-editing the Palgrave Handbook of Feminism in Sport, Leisure and Physical Education, with Dr. Caudwell (Brighton, UK), Dr. Mansfield (Brunel University, UK ) and Dr. Watson (Leeds Becket University. UK)

Recent Publications

  • Säfvenbom, R., Wheaton, B., & Agans, J. P. (2018). ‘How can you enjoy sports if you are under control by others?’ Self-organized lifestyle sports and youth development. Sport in Society, 1-20. doi:10.1080/17430437.2018.1472242

  • Puddle, D., Wheaton, B., & Thorpe, H. (2018). The glocalization of parkour: a New Zealand/Aotearoa case study. Sport in Society, 1-18. doi:10.1080/17430437.2018.1441010

  • Olive, R., Roy, G., & Wheaton, B. (2018). Stories of surfing: Surfing, space and subjectivity/intersectionality. In Surfing, Sex, Genders and Sexualities (pp. 148-167). doi:10.4324/9781315201238

  • Wheaton, B., & Thorpe, H. (2018). Action sport media consumption trends across generations: Exploring the Olympic audience and the impact of action sports inclusion. Communication and Sport. doi:10.1177/2167479518780410

Find more research publications by Belinda Wheaton


Extreme/Alternative Sports; Social Issues in Sport; Social Movements; Social Science Research; Sociology; Sport Education; Sport Governance; Sport Science; Sports; Women and Gender Studies; Youth

Contact Details

Name  Extn.  Username  Room  Department
Wheaton, AProf Belinda 6205 bwheaton TT.7.16 Faculty of Health, Sport and Human Perfo

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