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Professor Catherine Palmer

Sociology of Sport

University of Tasmania



Catherine Palmer is Professor of Sociology and Head of the School of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania, Australia. Before joining the University of Tasmania, she taught at the University of Adelaide, Flinders University, Durham University (UK), and Deakin University, Australia.

Catherine is a social anthropologist by training, but her research expertise extends across the social sciences. She is internationally recognised for her research on sociology of sport and leisure, sport, social policy and social problems. Her research areas have included sporting mega-events, sport and social inclusion, risk and lifestyle sports.

Her current research is focused on three main areas: 1. social contexts of sport and alcohol: particularly social practices and drinking identities, including under-represented identities (women, non-drinkers), culture change interventions and 'athlete addicts'; 2. sport and social change: refugees and resettlement, sports-related activism and athlete advocates, human rights and violence against women; and 3. charity sporting events: social capital, community cohesion, health and wellbeing.

She has held visiting fellowships in Europe and North America and has received funding for her research from national and international funding bodies including the ARC, the NHMRC, the Alcohol Education Research Foundation, Joseph Rowntree and the Nuffield Foundation, among others.

Catherine has worked with the United Nations on their Sport for Development and Peace Programme, the National Commission for Women (UK), the London Olympic Development Authority on women's safety at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and the Western Australian Sports Federation and the South Australian National Football League on alcohol policy in Australian sport. Her most recent books are Global Sports Policy (Sage, 2013) and Rethinking Drinking and Sport (Ashgate, 2015).