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Dr Kass Gibson

Associate Professor

School of Sport, Health and Wellbeing

01752 636700 Ext:8611

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Role Summary



  • PhD, University of Toronto, Canada
  • MSc (Distinction), Loughborough University, UK
  • BEd, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • BA, University of Canterbury, New Zealand


Kass has taught in schools, colleges, and universities in New Zealand, Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom. At the University of St Mark and St John he teaches research methods, social theory, and pedagogy on Physical Education, Sports Science, Coaching, and Public Health degree programmes.

Kass is supervising graduate students researching mental health in sport, outdoor education and fathering, and student engagement. He welcomes enquires from those seeking opportunities for graduate-level study in relation to: socio-cultural issues in sport, physical activity, and public health; teaching and coaching pedagogy; educational practice; and any areas related to his published work. 


Kass’ research uses a range sociological theories and research methodologies to understand the relationships and effects between different ways of knowing, meanings, experiences, and practices in physical activity, sport, physical education, and public health. He has published in journals such as British Journal of Sports Medicine, Journal of Public Health, Psychology of Sport & Exercise, and Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health the latter of which he sits on the editorial board. Kass has presented his work at annual conferences of the British Sociological Association’s (BSA) Medical Sociology Group, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, and Canadian Bioethics Society, and the International Sociological Association World Congress of Sociology.

Kass has internationally-recognised expertise in research ethics. He has been a consultant advising NGOs conducting medical research on ethical, social, and cultural research challenges. He is currently Deputy Chair of Plymouth Marjon Research Ethics Panel and a member of the NHS South West (Cornwall and Plymouth) Research Ethics Committee.


Journal Articles

Gibson, K. & Malcolm, D. (2019) Towards an Eliasian sociology of health and medicine: the case of Physical Activity Health Promotion. Social Theory and Health Online First:

Williams, O. Coen, S.E. & Gibson, K. (2019). Comment on “Equity in Physical Activity: A Misguided Goal” Sports Medicine Online First:

Williams, O. & Gibson, K. (2018). The Poisoned Elixir: Inactivity, Inequality and Intervention. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health 10(4): 421-428 DOI: 

Gibson, K. (2018) Laboratory Production of Health and Performance: An Ethnographic Investigation of Sports Science Laboratory Sport in Society Online First DOI:

Gibson, K & Atkinson, M. (2018). ‘Beyond boundaries: The development and potential of ethnography in the study of sport and physical culture. Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies 18(6): 442-452 DOI:

Jane, B. & Gibson, K. (2017) ‘Big Food’s sponsorship of physical activity promotion programmes: Part of the solution or conflict of interest?’ Journal of Public Health Online First DOI: 

Gorcyznski, P., Coyle, M., & Gibson, K. (2017). ‘Depressive symptoms in high-performance athletes and non-athletes: a comparative meta-analysis’ British Journal of Sports Medicine 51(8) DOI: 10.1136/bjsports-2016-096455 

Coyle, M., Gorcyznski, P., & Gibson, K. (2017). ‘“You have to be mental to jump off a board any way”: Elite divers’ conceptualizations and perceptions of Mental Health.’Psychology of Sport & Exercise 29: 10-18 DOI:

Gibson, K. (2014). ‘More than murder: Ethics and hunting in New Zealand.’ Sociology of Sport Journal, (31)4: 455-474.

Gibson, K. (2012). ‘Knight’s Children: Techno-science, consumerism and running shoes.’Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health, 4(3): 341-361.

Contribution to Books

Gorcyznski, P., Rathod, S. & Gibson, K. (2019). Using health equity to guide future physical activity research involving people living with serious mental illness In S.R. Bird (Ed.) Research Methods in Physical Activity and Health (pp.317-323). London: Routledge

Gibson, K. & Gorcyznski, P. (2019). Mass Mediation of Mental Illness in Sport In M. Atkinson (Ed.) Sport, Mental Illness, and Sociology (pp.143-160) London: Elsevier

Malcolm, D. & Gibson, K. (2018). Sport, Health, and Figurational Sociology In P. Velija & D. Malcolm (Eds.) Figurational Research in Sport, Leisure, and Health (pp.168-181). London: SAGE

Atkinson, M. & Gibson, K. (2017). ‘Power and power relations’ In M. Silk, D. Andrews & H. Thorpe (Eds.) Routledge Handbook of Physical Cultural Studies (pp.24-31). London: Routledge.

Gibson, K. (2016). ‘Mixed methods research: Integrating qualitative research.’ In B. Smith & A. Sparkes (Eds.) International Handbook of Qualitative Methods in Sport and Exercise (pp.382-396). London: Routledge.

Atkinson, M. & Gibson, K. (2014). ‘Communion Without Collision: Animals, Sport and Interspecies Co-Presence.’ In M. Gilbert & J. Gillett (Eds.), Sport, Animals and Society(pp.268-290). London: Routledge.

Gibson, K. (2012). ‘Two (or more) feet are better than one: Mixed method research in sport and physical culture.’ In K. Young and M. Atkinson  (Eds.), Qualitative Research on Sport and Physical Cultures (pp.213-232). London: Elsevier.


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