Staff Profile


Dr James Brighton

Senior Lecturer

School: School of Human and Life Sciences

Campus: Canterbury

Tel: 01227 923102

Profile summary

Dr James Brighton is a Senior Lecturer in the Sociology of Sport and Exercise and a member of the Sport and Body Cultures (SBC) research group at Canterbury Christ Church University, UK. His theoretical and empirical research interests lie in disability studies, the sociology of the body and the social and cultural analyses of sport and fitness. Methodologically, he is interested in interpretive forms of qualitative inquiry including ethnography, life history and narrative analyses. His current publications explore wheelchair bodybuilding, body modifications amongst athletes with spinal cord injury and how disabled athletes can become sporting cyborgs. 

Research and knowledge exchange

Research projects:

James is a researcher for the Centre for Sport, Physical Education and Activity Research (SPEAR). In 2012 James was involved in the NHS Change 4 Life (Primary) programme and the Lloyds TSB National School Sports Week.


James currently supervises students on the MSc by Research in Sport and Exercise Sciences and the Msc in Physical Education and Physical Activity by Research. He also supervises 3 PhD students on the gendered experiences of Korfball, embodied experiences of female gym users and the implementation of a CorssFit programme for children. 

Teaching and subject expertise

James teaches on sociological and research orientated modules across Sport and Exercise Science, Physical Education and Sport and Exercise Science, Sport and Exercise Psychology and Sport and Leisure Management degrees. He is the module leader for:

Level 4: Introduction to Sport, Culture and Society

Level 6: Re-thinking Sport, Health and Body Cultures

James also teaches on:

Level 5: Sporting Identities and Lifestyles

Level 5: Research in Sport and Exercise 2

Level 6: Individual Research Project (Supervisor)

James is also the Level 4 year tutor for Sport and Exercise Science students.

Professional bodies:

British Sociological Association (BSA)

British Sociological Association Auto-ethnography Study Group

British Sociological Association Sport Study Group

Sport and Body Cultures Research Group (CCCU)

International Sociology Association (ISSA) Member

External activities

- British Sociological Society (Sport Study Group) (Canterbury Christ Church University), 2013

(Dis)abled athletes as the “ambassadors of transhumanism”

Publications and research outputs

Journal Articles

Sparkes, A.C., Brighton, J. & Inckle, K. Imperfect perfection and wheelchair bodybuilding: Challenging ableism or reproducing normalcy? Sociology (in press)

Sparkes, A.C., Brighton, J. ‘It's a part of me’: An ethnographic exploration of spinal cord injury and becoming a disabled sporting cyborg. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health (in press)

Brighton, J.  Disability, spinal cord injury and strength and conditioning: Sociological considerations. Strength and Conditioning Journal  (forthcoming)

Sparkes, A.C., Brighton, J. & Inckle, K. “I Am Proud of My Back”: An ethnographic study of body modification among athletes with spinal cord injury (forthcoming)

Book Chapters

Brighton, J. & Williams, T. (2017) Using interviews to explore experiences of physical disability in sport and physical activity. In: Medcalf, R. & Mackintosh, C. (eds.) Researching Difference in Sport and Physical Activity. Palgrave.

Brighton, J. (2016) Researching disabled sporting bodies: Reflections from an ‘able’-bodied ethnographer. In: I. Wellard , (ed), Researching Embodied Sport: Exploring Movement Cultures. London: Routledge.

Sparkes, A.C., Brighton, J., & Inkle, K. (2012) Disabled sporting bodies as sexual beings: Reflections and challenges. In: Anderson, E. & Hargreaves, J. eds. The Routledge Handbook on Sport, Gender and Sexuality. London: Routledge.


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Last edited: 05/12/2017 03:57:00