Professor John Evans

  • Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education and Physical Education

John Evans is Emeritus Professor of Sociology of Education and Physical Education in the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

John taught in comprehensive schools in outer London before completing a taught master's degree and PhD in Sociology of Education at the Department of Sociology, Institute of Education, University of London. He spent 12 years teaching and developing research in the Sociology of Education and Physical Education at Southampton University before joining Loughborough University in 1993. He was head of the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, 1998 -2001, and led the Physical Education and Sport Pedagogy Research Group until 2015.

John is Adjunct Honorary Professor of the University of Queensland, Australia, and a Fellow of the PEAUK.

His research interests address issues relating to the politics of the curriculum, pedagogy, equity and identity; and embodiment, education and health. Conceptually this research is informed by sociological and educational theory and draws heavily upon the methodology of qualitative research.

Research Projects

  • Education, Obesity Discourse and Identity; This research addresses the relationships between ‘obesity discourse’ and the heightened incidences of disordered eating amongst children and young people. His ESRC funded (2006-2009) research on education and disordered eating with Dr Emma Rich and Dr Laura DePian (now at Bath University) involved international collaboration with Prof Jan Wright and Dr Valerie Harwood, University of Wollongong, Australia (funded by the Australian Research Council) and Professor Lisette Burrows, Otago University.
  • Embodiment, Policy, Pedagogy and Inclusion. This research (ongoing with Professor Brian Davies, Emeritus Professor of Education, Cardiff University and Dr Julie Stirrup Loughborough University) involves theoretical and empirical investigations of the relationships between formal and informal education, policy, social class and subjectivity. His current work on Early Years Learning (EYL) with Dr Julie Stirrup addresses the relationships of social class, educational identity, achievement and early years’ education.
  • Editor in Chief: Sport, Education and Society
  • Editorial Board: British Journal Sociology of Education
  • Editorial Consultant: Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education

Featured publications

  • Stirrup, J., Evans, J. & Davies, B. (2016): Early years learning, play pedagogy and social class, British Journal of Sociology of Education, DOI: 10.1080/01425692.2016.1182010
John has published extensively in the Sociology of Education and Physical Education. His books include:
  • New Direction in Social Theory, Education and Embodiment (edited with Brian Davies; London: Routledge, 2013;
  • Education, Disordered Eating and Obesity Discourse (with Emma Rich, Brian Davies and Rachel Allwood; London: Routledge, 2008);
  • Educational Policy and Social Reproduction (with Brian Davies and John Fitz; Routledge, 2005);
  • Politics, Policy and Practice in Physical Education (with Dawn Penney; E&FN Spon 1999);
  • Teaching in Transition: The Challenge of Mixed Ability Grouping(Open University Press, 1985).
His edited books and special editions include:
  • Neoliberalism, Privatization and the Future of Physical Education(with Brian Davies; Sport, Education and Society, 2015, 20. 11-107);
  • Body Knowledge and Control. Studies in the Sociology of Physical Education and Health; Routledge, 2004);
  • Equality, Education and Physical Education (Falmer Press, 1993);
  • Teachers Teaching and Control (Falmer Press, 1988);
  • Physical Education, Sport and Schooling: Studies in the Sociology of PE (Falmer Press, 1986).
He is editor in chief of the international journal Sport, Education and Society (published by Taylor and Francis).