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Senior Lecturer in Sociology of Sport

I am a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Sport. I have a background in Philosophy, including the Philosophy of Sport, and have interests in ethical issues in sport, particularly gender.

Teaching and supervision

My teaching areas are predominantly sociological and theoretical aspects of sport, exercise, physical education and physical activity. I lead the following modules:

  • SSP160 Sport and Physical Activity in Contemporary Settings
  • SSP265 Sport and Physical Education
  • SSP266 Sport, Power and Social Relations

I also deliver an annual session at masters level on sociological aspects of health and illness. I have in the past delivered masters sessions on drug use in sport and exercise.

Other teaching contributions at the University include:

  • SSP325 Sport, Public Health and the Media
  • SSP150 Personal and Professional Skills
  • Masters sessions on Research Ethics
  • Masters session on Typologies and Theoretical Frameworks
  • Level 5 Employability module


I was trained in mainstream Philosophy, before gaining an interest in the Philosophy of Sport, which soon meshed with the Sociology of Sport.

I am particularly interested in philosophical, ethical, social and cultural aspects of sport. Areas include gender issues, transgression in sport and its ethical character and cultural framings, the aesthetics of sport (especially football), the mind and emotions in sport, and sport (especially football) fandom.


Number of items: 21.


Davis, Paul and Edwards, Lisa (2021) Derby Girls' Parodic Self-Sexualizations: Autonomy, Articulacy and Ambiguity. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy. ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul, Edwards, Lisa and Forbes, Alison (2019) Separate but Equal? A Philosophical Evaluation of Mixed-Sex Football in England. Fair Play, Journal of Philosophy, Ethics and Sports Law, 13. pp. 79-90. ISSN 2014-9255

Davis, Paul (2018) The Purist/Partisan Spectator Discourse: Some Examination and Discrimination. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 13. ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul and Edwards, Lisa (2017) Is it Defensible for Women to Play Fewer Sets than Men in Grand Slam Tennis? Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, 44 (3). pp. 388-407. ISSN 0094-8705

Davis, Paul (2017) Philosophy of Sport: Key Questions (Book Review). Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 11 (4). ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul and Ryall, Emily (2017) Evaluating Violent Conduct in Sport: A Hierarchy of Vice. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 11. p. 207. ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul, Edwards, L. and Forbes, A. (2016) Challenging sex segregation: A philosophical evaluation of the Football Association's rules on mixed football. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 9 (4). pp. 389-400. ISSN 1751-1321

Calmeiro, L., Stoll, S.K. and Davis, Paul (2015) Moral Reasoning in Sport: Validation of the Portuguese Version of the RSBH Value-Judgement Inventory in Adolescents. Sport Science Review, 24 (5-6). pp. 285-304. ISSN 2069-7244

Davis, Paul and Edwards, L. (2015) The new IOC and IAAF policies on female eligibility: old emperor, new clothes? Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 8 (1). pp. 44-56. ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul (2015) Football is football and is interesting, very interesting. Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 9 (2). pp. 140-152. ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul (2012) The Ladies of Besiktas: an Example of Moral and Ideological Ambiguity? Sport, Ethics and Philosophy, 6 (1). pp. 4-15. ISSN 1751-1321

Davis, Paul (2012) Ethics, Knowledge and Truth in Sports Research (Review Essay). Journal of the Philosophy of Sport. ISSN 0094-8705

Davis, Paul (2011) Unwarranted participant questions and virtuous researcher lies. Research Ethics, 7 (3). pp. 91-99. ISSN 1747-0161

Book Section

Davis, Paul and Weaving, Charlene (2021) Covid-19: Lip Gloss and the Threat to Women's Sport. In: Philosophical Perspectives in Pandemic Sport. Routledge, London. (In Press)

Davis, Paul (2015) Philosophy of Mind and Sport. In: Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy of Sport. Routledge International Handbooks . Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon, pp. 192-206. ISBN 9780415829809

Davis, Paul (2013) Hegemonic Fandom and Red Herring of Sectarianism. In: Bigotry, Football and Scotland. Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, pp. 115-129. ISBN 9780748670369

Davis, Paul (2010) 'Objectivity and Subjectivity in Coaching'. In: The Ethics of Sports Coaching. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780415557757

Davis, Paul Orthodoxy and Classical Assumptions in Science and Art. In: Beyond Disciplinarity in Social Research: Methodologies, Epistemologies and Philosophies. Routledge. (Submitted)

Conference or Workshop Item

Johansen, M, Whyte, Ian, Davis, Paul and Leyland, Sandra (2017) Attitudes and Beliefs about taking Steroid and Image Enhancing Drugs (SIEDs): A systematic review of studies with gym users. In: Association for Applied Sports Psychology Student Conference 2017, 20-21st May 2017, University of Winchester.

Davis, Paul and Edwards, Lisa (2016) Gender and Roller Derby: Women Keeping it to Themselves. In: British Philosophy of Sport Association Annual Meeting, April 4-6, 2016, Eastbourne. (Unpublished)

Davis, Paul (2011) The Supersized Mind in Sport? In: British Philosophy of Sport Association Annual Meeting, May 14-16, 2011, Prague, Czech Republic. (Unpublished)

This list was generated on Sat Mar 25 05:16:32 2023 GMT.
  • Philosophy and sociology of sport
  • Gender in sport and physical activity
  • Ethical issues in sport
  • Football fandom
  • Sport and aesthetics (especially the aesthetics of football)
I was appointed in April 2017 as Chair of the British Philosophy of Sport Association, which is a 2-year post. I was Vice-Chair before the appointment. I organised the Annual Meeting of the association, which took place at Sunderland's National Glass Centre in April 2015.

I was Associate Editor and Review Editor of the Journal of the Philosophy of Sport, the discipline's flagship journal, between 2002 and 2007.

My co-written essay (published October 2017) on the sexes playing fewer sets in Grand Slam tennis was covered in the media, including the Guardian, BBC, The Independent, Sunderland Echo, ITV.com and Global Radio.

I was interviewed on football fandom ('Why Football Matters') in February 2014 for Spark Sunderland, to coincide with Sunderland FC's appearance in the League Cup final.

I was interviewed by Colourful Radio in October 2011 on elements of football fandom. I have been quoted by Times award-winning journalist Matthew Syed.  

I have published several essays in the Scottish broadsheets The Herald and Scotland on Sunday, on (broadly) issues in sport, politics and culture. I have also published several essays in the former Scottish football fanzine, The Absolute Game.

I published an essay on philosophical questions in gambling for the Edinburgh University alumni magazine, Edit, to coincide with the launch of the National Lottery in 1994.  

Last updated 22 June 2022