Department for Health

Professor Simone Fullagar

Professor of sport social sciences with particular expertise in the socio-cultural analysis of physical cultures and leisure, tourism and health/mental health practices

Simone Fullgar

Professor of sport and physical cultural studies PhD, BA(Leis St)(Hons)

1 West 3.119
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 5654

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PhD supervision

I am interested in supervising new PhD students researching these qualitative topics:

  • physical cultural studies
  • embodied mental health
  • sport leadership, power and diverse participation
  • sport, active living and health policy
  • active tourism and slow movements
  • changing urban space

More research opportunities »


I am an interdisciplinary sociologist who has published widely in the areas of mental health, active communities and social well-being, with a focus on leisure, events, sport and tourism experiences.

I am interested in the contribution of leisure, sport and tourism to social change, and have developed a particular focus on gender and diversity issues. Drawing upon contemporary theories of embodiment, governmentality and the bio-politics of health this research has contributed to critical debates about active living and mental health policy.

My professional background in community service management for diverse populations and inclusive approach to active participation has informed my teaching of critical management and leadership approaches, as well as community development processes.

I have received funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and university grants programs to conduct qualitative research into the sociocultural context of leisure and health issues. ARC Discovery projects include the significance of social and leisure practices in women’s recovery from depression and the socio-cultural context of youth suicide in rural and urban communities. Additionally, I have undertaken research on the challenges of promoting active family lifestyles in the 'risk society' as well as new work on the rise of the slow travel movement. I am currently completing a new book on the rise of roller derby as a new women's sport and cultural practice with co-author Dr Adele Pavlidis. The book explores questions of identity, power and affect in relation to the growth of roller derby at a time when women's participation has dropped in other organised sports.

Previously to joining the University of Bath, I was President of the Australian and New Zealand Association for Leisure Studies and was a Board member for ten years. I was also an Associate Editor for the international journal Leisure Sciences and Editor for the Journal of Sociology from 2008-2013.

Research interests

  • embodied cultures, (in)active subjects and social practices
  • connecting active living policy, social and individual wellbeing, physical and mental health
  • power, social inequality and inclusive participation in sport and leisure (class, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexuality, age)
  • critical reflexivity in sport, leisure and tourism management and qualitative methodologies
  • slow tourism/sport cultures and liveable cities

Current projects

  • Rethinking Women’s Recovery from Depression (Australian Research Council Discovery Project)
  • Exploring questions of liveability in South East Queensland, Australia (New Research Area Initiative grant, Griffith University)


Read publications by Simone Fullagar