Professor Cassandra Phoenix
BSc, PhD, FHEA
|Professor in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences|
|Member of the Institute for Medical Humanities|
|Fellow of the Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing|
I have an ongoing research interest in physical activity - or moving bodies – in relation to experiences of health and wellbeing across time and space.
This work has been developed within the context of ageing (specifically mid and later life) through, for example, projects exploring how women experience movement during menopause, and how sport and movement in later life can become a vehicle through which ageism is both resisted and reinforced. My research in this area has also examined how chronic conditions typically diagnosed in mid and later life (e.g. Ménière’s disease, characterised by symptoms of severe vertigo, tinnitus / hearing loss), and/or disability (e.g. late onset sight loss) recalibrates everyday experiences of movement, including rhythm, arrythmia and stillness.
My interest in moving bodies also extends to the spaces and places that bodies move in and through. This has involved how people engage and connect with “natural environments” when seeking health and wellbeing (via a focus on weather elements, pollution, blue/green spaces), and the ways in which this is shaped and constrained by broader social forces and inequalities. This line of research is also examining how older bodies move – and could be supported to move more - in confined spaces such as prison environments.
Through my research I seek to work in partnerships and across disciplines to ask different questions of physically (in)active bodies as they age. The answers – while often nuanced - can enrich our response to the seemingly intractable problem for population and planetary health of rising levels of physical inactivity and sedentary practices.
I lead the Moving Bodies Lab, as part of the Discovery Platform for Medical Humanities.
My research has been supported by a range of funders, including the ESRC, the Wellcome Trust, World Health Organization, NIHR, Leverhulme Trust, The Nuffield Foundation, along with a range of Charities and partnership organisations.
I serve on the Editorial Boards for: Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health; Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sport; Journal of Aging Studies; and Methods in Psychology.
Guest Editor roles:
Forthcoming: Special Issue of Methods in Psychology – ‘Arts-Based Methods in Psychology’ (with Professor Kerry Chamberlain).
2010: Special issue of Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health – ‘Visual Methods in Physical Cultures’.
I welcome enquiries and applications that connect with the research areas outlined above.
- Ageing and Active Mobilities
- Everyday Ageism
- Weather and Wellbeing
- Coastal Blue Space, Health and Wellbeing
- Sporting Lives
- 2023: Honorary Associate: The Gilbrea Centre for Studies in Aging, McMaster University
Chapter in book
- Smith, B & Phoenix, C (2019). Qualitative research in physical activity and health. In Research Methods in Physical Activity and Health. S. R. Bird & J. A. Hawley Routledge.
- Phoenix, C. (2017). Ageing bodies. In Taylor and Francis. 179-188.
- Phoenix, C. & Tulle, E. (2017). Physical activity and ageing. In Taylor and Francis. 264-273.
- Phoenix, C., Orr, N. & Griffin, M. (2017). Bringing socio-narratology and visual methods to focus group research. In A New Era of Focus Group Research. R. Barbour & D. Morgan Palgrave Macmillan. 325-342.
- Griffin, M. & Phoenix, C. (2015). Women's lived experiences of health and ageing in physical activity. In Ethnographies in Sport and Exercise Research. G.Molnar, & L. Purdy Taylor and Francis Inc. 77-95.
- Phoenix, C. & Griffin, M. (2015). Sport, physical activity and ageing. In The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Gerontology. Twigg, J. & Martin, J. Taylor and Francis Inc. 329-336.
- Moran, R., Hollenbeck, J. & Phoenix, C. (2013). Structural vulnerability and narrative: Sensitising concepts for understanding the health impacts of climate change. In Ecological health: Society, Ecology and Health. Gislason, M. K. Emerald. 15: 109-124.
- Tulle, E. & Phoenix, C (2015). Physical Activity and Sport in Later Life: Critical Approaches. Global Culture and Sport. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Phoenix, C & Smith, B (2011). The world of physical culture in sport and exercise: Visual methods for qualitative research. Routledge.
- Sivaramakrishnan, Hamsini, Phoenix, Cassandra, Quested, Eleanor, Thogersen-Ntoumani, Cecilie, Gucciardi, Daniel F., Cheval, Boris & Ntoumanis, Nikos (2023). “More than just a walk in the park” A multi-stakeholder qualitative exploration of community-based walking sport programmes for middle-aged and older adults. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
- Evers, Clifton & Phoenix, Cassandra (2022). Relationships between Recreation and Pollution When Striving for Wellbeing in Blue Spaces. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 19(7): 4170.
- Phoenix, Cassandra, Bell, Sarah L. & Hollenbeck, Julie (2021). Segregation and the Sea: Toward a Critical Understanding of Race and Coastal Blue Space in Greater Miami. Journal of Sport and Social Issues 45(2): 115-137.
- Bradshaw, Andy, Phoenix, Cassandra & Burke, Shaunna M. (2020). Living in the mo(ve)ment: An ethnographic exploration of hospice patients’ experiences of participating in Tai Chi. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 49: 101687.
- Bell, S.L., Leyshon, C. & Phoenix, C. (2019). Negotiating nature's weather worlds in the context of life with sight impairment. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 44(2): 270-283.
- Phoenix, C. & Bell, Sarah L. (2019). Beyond “Move More” Feeling the Rhythms of physical activity in mid and later-life. Social Science & Medicine 231: 47-54.
- Phoenix, C. (2018). Why qualitative research is needed in gerontology and how we can do it better. Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 73(7): E81-E85.
- Bell, S.L., Wheeler, B.W. & Phoenix, C. (2017). Using Geonarratives to Explore the Diverse Temporalities of Therapeutic Landscapes: Perspectives from “Green” and “Blue” Settings. Annals of the American Association of Geographers 107(1): 93-108.
- Phoenix, C. & Orr, N. (2017). Analysing exceptions within qualitative data: promoting analytical diversity to advance knowledge of ageing and physical activity. Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health 9(3): 271-284.
- Bell, S.L., Tyrrell, J. & Phoenix, C. (2016). A day in the life of a Ménière's patient: understanding the lived experiences and mental health impacts of Ménière's disease. Sociology of Health and Illness 39(5): 680-695.
- Bell, S.L., Tyrrell, J. & Phoenix, C. (2016). Ménière's disease and biographical disruption: Where family transitions collide. Social Science and Medicine 166: 177-185.
- Griffin, M. & Phoenix, C. (2016). Becoming a runner: big, middle and small stories about physical activity participation in later life. Sport, Education and Society 21(1): 11-27.
- Bell, S.L., Phoenix, C., Lovell, R. & Wheeler, B.W. (2015). Seeking everyday wellbeing: The coast as a therapeutic landscape. Social Science and Medicine 142: 56-67.
- Orr, N. & Phoenix, C. (2015). Photographing physical activity: using visual methods to ‘grasp at’ the sensual experiences of the ageing body. Qualitative Research 15(4): 454-472.
- Bell, S.L., Phoenix, C., Lovell, R. & Wheeler, B.W. (2015). Using GPS and geo-narratives: A methodological approach for understanding and situating everyday green space encounters. Area 47(1): 88-96.
- Caddick, N., Smith, B. & Phoenix, C. (2015). The effects of surfing and the natural environment on the well-being of combat veterans. Qualitative Health Research 25(1): 76-86.
- Bell, S.L., Phoenix, C., Lovell, R. & Wheeler, B.W. (2014). Green space, health and wellbeing: Making space for individual agency. Health and Place 30: 287-292.
- Phoenix, C. & Orr, N. (2014). Pleasure: A forgotten dimension of physical activity in older age. Social Science & Medicine 115: 94-102.
- Griffin, M. & Phoenix, C. (2014). Learning to run from narrative foreclosure: One woman's story of aging and physical activity. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 22(3): 393-404.
- Phoenix, C. & Griffin, M. (2011). Narratives at work: What can stories of older athletes do? Ageing and Society 33(2): 243-266.
- Phoenix, C. (2010). Seeing the world of physical culture: The potential of visual methods for qualitative research in sport and exercise. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise 2(2): 93-108.
- Phoenix, C. (2010). Auto-photography in aging studies: Exploring issues of identity construction in mature bodybuilders. Journal of Aging Studies 24(3): 167-180.
- Phoenix, C. & Howe, A. (2010). Working the When, Where, and Who of social context: The case of a traumatic injury narrative. Qualitative Research in Psychology 7(2): 140-155.
- Randall, W.L. & Phoenix, C. (2009). The problem with truth in qualitative interviews: Reflections from a narrative perspective. Qualitative Research in Sport and Exercise 1(2): 125-140.
- Phoenix, C. & Sparkes, A.C. (2009). Being Fred: Big stories, small stories and the accomplishment of a positive ageing identity. Qualitative Research 9(2): 219-236.
- Phoenix, C. & Grant, B. (2009). Expanding the agenda for research on the physically active aging body. Journal of Aging and Physical Activity 17(3): 362-379.
- Phoenix, C. & Sparkes, A.C. (2008). Athletic bodies and aging in context: The narrative construction of experienced and anticipated selves in time. Journal of Aging Studies 22(3): 211-221.
- Phoenix, C. & Sparkes, A.C. (2007). Sporting bodies, ageing, narrative mapping and young team athletes: An analysis of possible selves. Sport, Education and Society 12(1): 1-17.
- Phoenix, C. & Sparkes, A.C. (2006). Young athletic bodies and narrative maps of aging. Journal of Aging Studies 20(2): 107-121.
- Phoenix, C. & Sparkes, A.C. (2006). Keeping it in the family: Narrative maps of ageing and young athletes' perceptions of their futures. Ageing and Society 26(4): 631-648.
- Phoenix, C., Faulkner, G. & Sparkes, A.C. (2005). Athletic identity and self-ageing: The dilemma of exclusivity. Psychology of Sport and Exercise 6(3): 335-347.