Alex Channon is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Education and Sport Studies at the University of Brighton, having previously taught at Loughborough University, the University of Greenwich and Syracuse University. His research interests encompass various thematic issues within the sociology of sport and physical education, focusing primarily on martial arts and combat sports.
Here, Alex has explored the relationship between gender, sexuality and participation; the value of martial arts within physical education curricula; media representations of professional fighters; the construction of meaning around notions of ‘violence’ among martial artists; and most recently the provision of medical support in combat sports. These interests have largely been pursued through the use of sociological theory and qualitative investigation, exploring themes such as identity, embodiment, and the social construction of meaning.
Alex is the co-editor of three academic books, including Global Perspectives on Women in Combat Sports: Women Warriors around the World (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), and is the co-founder of the combat sports-based anti-violence initiative, Love Fighting Hate Violence. Alex currently sits on the editorial board of Sociology of Sport Journal and is a board member of the Martial Arts Studies Research Network.
My teaching largely centres on sociological, historical, and political issues as they pertain to contemporary physical education and sport settings. I teach students from a range of programs, who tend to see things from various perspectives and want to learn about sport in different ways and for different reasons. Although I am cautious to approach each group of students on their own terms, what unites all of my teaching is a commitment to critically analyse the basic assumptions that underlie contemporary forms of sport culture.
I believe that teaching is a vital component of academic work, providing the most immediate route through which universities can positively benefit society. As such, my teaching draws on academic research to provide students with contemporary, research-informed knowledge they can use to make sense of physical education and sports worlds, contextualised relative to their prospective future careers. I regularly encourage my students to imagine how the materials covered in class can be of use in professional contexts, and deliberately shape my assessment strategies to give students skills that will be useful to them later in life.
Fundamentally, I see the task of enthusing my students with a passion for learning as the most important element of my duties as a lecturer. As such, I work hard to vary my teaching style, prioritising topical issues and using innovative methods wherever possible to keep students engaged and motivated. I see my role as one of making students curious, inspiring them to critically explore subject matter on their own, fostering independence while at university as well as a lifelong commitment to learn.
My research interests encompass various thematic issues within the sociology of sport and physical education, focusing primarily on martial arts and combat sports. Specifically, I have explored the relationship between gender, sexuality and participation; the value of martial arts within physical education curricula; media representations of professional fighters; the construction of meaning around notions of ‘violence’ among martial artists; and most recently the provision of medical support in combat sports.
Besides these, I am also interested in the relationship between professional sport and the media; young people’s consumption of social media relative to questions around body image and fitness; and the inclusion of sexual minority athletes in sports.
Sport and Service ManagementGaudick RoadEastbourneBN20 7SR
I holds a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science (2007), MSc in Sociology of Sport (2008), and PhD in Sociology of Sport (2012), all from Loughborough University. I also holds a PG cert in HE (2012) from the University of Greenwich. I have worked at Loughborough University, the University of Greenwich, Syracuse University (London) and the University of Brighton.