Sport and international development
Social policy and sport
Coaching and community development
Gender, sport and physical education
Research methodologies and young people
Young people with disabilities, family and leisure
Dr Ruth Jeanes is an Associate Professor within the Faculty of Education and Director of Initial Teacher Education. Ruth is a social scientist whose research interests focus on the use of sport and active recreation as a community development resource, particularly to address social exclusion amongst acutely marginalised groups.
Ruth's research has attracted a range of external funding. She is lead investigator on a recently awarded ARC Linkage grant 'Informal sport as a health and social resources amongst diverse young people' ($250,000) with co-investigators Dr Justen O' Connor, Professor Dawn Penney and Professor Ramon Spaaij and in partnership with VicHealth, Centre for Multicultural Youth, Cricket Victoria and the Department of local governernment, sport and cultural industries. This study builds on a recently completed project also funded by the ARC Linkage scheme ($200,000) for a project 'Participation versus performance: Managing (dis) ability, gender and cultural diversity in Junior Sport'. The grant team was led by Professor Ramon Spaaij from Victoria University.
Methodologically Ruth seeks to give voice to disempowered individuals and communities within her research by drawing on a range of participatory approaches developed from her PhD. Ruth's PhD thesis utilised feminist post-structuralism to examine the role of sport and specifically soccer in the construction of girls' gender identities and she has developed this area to research and continues to publish on how constructions of gender and sport can facilitate and constrain girls' involvement in sport.
More recently, Ruth's research has examined the role of sport in assisting young homeless men to connect with support services, to support identity (re) construction amongst men experiencing mental illness, and the ways in which newly arrived and refugee committees use sport when settling in Australia. Ruth has an ongoing interest in examining the experiences of young people with disabilities in sport and leisure contexts. Internationally she has undertaken extensive research work in Zambia, examining the role of sport in HIV/AIDS education as a tool to empower young women and as means to foster hope and a sense of community amongst both men and women living in highly impoverished urban compounds.
Ruth regularly conducts evaluations examining the impact of sport and social change initiatives for national and international agencies including UNICEF, the Football Foundation and Centre for Multicultural Youth.
Ruth is President of the Australian and New Zealand Association of Leisure Studies and is a member of several journal editorial boards including the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, Sociology of Sport Journal, Managing Sport and Leisure and Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health.
The Education Futures team
Director, Education Futures, and Professor, Faculty of Education
Professor (Research), Early Years Education