Margaret MacNeill

Margaret MacNeill, Associate Professor Emerita, Health and Physical Cultural Studies

  • Associate Professor Emerita, Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education
  • Full status, School of Graduate Studies
  • Cross Appointment, Dalla Lana School of Public Health
  • Executive Committee, Collaborative Specialization in Women’s Health
55 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 2W6

About Margaret

Academic Training

Ph.D. (1994): Faculty of Applied Sciences, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University 

M.A. (1986): School of Kinesiology and Health Studies, Queen's University 

B.P.H.E. (1984): School of Physical and Health Education (now Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education), University of Toronto

Graduate Student Recruitment Status
Not currently accepting PhD and MSc students
Research Interests

Health communication

Health and physical literacy

Visual media methodologies

Critical policy studies of public health

Social marketing of active healthy living

Youth sport and fitness audience studies

Critical and cultural studies of sport media

Physical cultural studies of gender and health

Olympic television production ethnographies

Athletes' rights and relationships with the media

Cultural studies of sport, fitness and physical activity

Post-structuralist, postcolonial and feminist methodologies

Selected Publications

MacNeill, M., & Kriger, D. (2021) Bartering with Fate: Imagination, Health & and the Body. In V. Zalwilski, (Ed.), Body Studies in Canada: Critical Approaches to Embodied Experiences, Chapter 6,  pp. 148-174  Toronto: Canadian Scholar’s Press.

Mustafa, N., Einstein G., MacNeill, M.,  & Watt-Watson, J. (2020) The lived experiences of chronic pain among immigrant Indian-Canadian women: A phenomenological analysis, Canadian Journal of Pain, 4:3, 40-50

Oldfield, M., MacEachern, B., Kirsh, B. & MacNeill, M. (2016). Impromptu everyday disclosure dances: how women with fibromyalgia respond to disclosure risks at work. Disability and Rehabilitation. 38(15), 1442-1453.

Hayhurst, L., Kidd, B., Knoppers, A., MacNeill, M. (2014). Gender relations, gender-based violence and sport for development and peace: Questions, concerns, cautions emerging from Uganda. Women’s Studies International Forum, 47:57-67.

MacNeill, M. (2013). ‘Screenagers’ and in/Active lifestyles: A socio-cultural analysis of lifespan promotion. Kinesiology Review, 2(1), 47-54.

Hayhurst, L., MacNeill, M., & Frisby, W. (2011). A Postcolonial Approach to Sport, Gender and Development. In B. Houlihan and M. Green. Handbook of Sport Development, pp. 253-365. London: Routledge.

MacNeill, M., Rail, G. (2010). The Visions, Voices and Moves of Young Canadians: Exploring Diversity, Subjectivity and Cultural Constructions of Fitness and Health. In J. Wright (Ed.). Living Physical Activity: Young People, Physical Activity and the Everyday, pp. 175-193. London: Routledge.

MacNeill, M. (2010). Opening Up the Gendered Gaze: Sport Media Representations of Women, National Identity and Racialized Gaze. In P. Markula and T. Bruce  (Eds.), Reading Women’s Sport: Olympic Athletes in Globalized Culture, pp. 50-69. London: Palgrave.

Awards and Recognition

International Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, 2006

Sociology of Sport Journal Award, 1997 

International Folio Award for Science Editing, 1994

Supervised Theses

PhD in progress

Khalil, Asma. (2018-present). Sporting Muslimahs: Exploring the Sport Experiences of Muslim Women in Oman.

McKenzie, Braeden. (2019-present). Exploring Risk and Responsibility: Risky Play and Sport Concussions. SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.

MSc in Progress

Le, Jamie. (2021-present). Identity and Women’s Football: Gendered and Intersecting Barriers.

Estrada, Gabriela. (2018-present). Race, Gender, Age, and Movement: The Experiences of Women, Ages 18-30, in Sport, Recreation, Exercise and Physical Activities in Scarborough. Also enrolled in Collaborative Specialization in Women’s Health.

PhD awarded 

Razack, Sabrina. (2018-2022). Joy as a Mode of Resistance: An examination of Black Girl Hockey Club's Ongoing Quest for Racial Social Justice. Also completed the Collaborative Graduate Program in Women and Gender Studies.

Tajrobehkar, Bahar. (2020). Iranian Female Experiences in Iranian and Canadian Physical Education Systems. SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship.

Kriger, Debra. (2019). Beyond the Present Fat: Body size, Stigma and Risk in Public Health: CIHR Banting & Best Doctoral Fellowship.

McIntyre, Laura. (2019). Disrupting Gender Binaries in Physical and Health Education: A Cross-Cultural Study in Canada and Brazil. International Co-supervision with Dr. Alex Braco-Fraga, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Gray, Sarah. (2019). Ontario Health Education Curriculum and Healthy Living Discourses. 

Black, Kevin. (2019; DLSPH). Co-Supervision with Dr. Cam Norman. The Social Marketing of Early Childhood Development in Public Health and the Role of Fatherhood. SSHRC funded: Doctoral Fellowship; CIHR Public Health Policy Training Fellowship

Hayhurst, Lyndsay. (2011). Governing the ‘Girl Effect’ through Sport, Gender and Development? Postcolonial Girlhoods, Constellations of Aid and Global Corporate Social Engagement. Awarded SSHRC Doctoral Fellowship; Exercise Sciences and Collaborative Graduate Program in Women's Health; Lupina Doctoral Fellowship, Munk Centre for International Studies. Co-supervised with Dr. Bruce Kidd. 

Darnell, Simon (2009). Changing the World Through Sport and Play: A Post-colonial Analysis of Canadian Volunteers Within the ‘Sport for Development and Peace’ Movement. SSHRC Doctoral Fellow.

Norman, Moss (Ted). (2009). Living in the Shadow of an Epidemic: The Discursive Construction of Boys and Their Bodies. 

Petherick, LeAnne (2008). Curriculum, Pedagogy and Embodied Experience: The Re/production of Health Discourse in Grade 9 Health and Physical Education. 

MSc Awarded

Hamdonah, Zeana (2021). Masjid Ball: The influences of Mosque-Based Physical Activity Programs on the Physical Cultural Practices of Young Women.

MacLennan, Rosie. (2018). Navigating Athlete Citizenry: The Negotiation of Rights, Roles and Responsibilities by Canadian Olympians. SSHRC funded. Co-supervised with Dr. Bruce Kidd.

Trotter, Kathleen (2013). Can-Fit-Pro, The Fit body and the Cultural Field of Physical Fitness. 

Szto, Courtney. (2012). Corporate Social Responsibility as a Tool for Social Change: A Case Study of the UNESCO-WTA Tour Partnership for Global Gender Equity. SSHRC funded.

Razack, Sabrina. (2009). Women's Cricket Spaces: An Examination of Female Players’ Experiences in Canada. Co-supervised with Dr Caroline Fusco. 

Shane, Lindsay. (2009). The Cycling Body and Transgressing City Spaces. Co-supervised with Dr. Caroline Fusco. Also completed Collaborative Graduate Women’s Studies Program.

Aloisio, Julia. (2006). A critical analysis of breast cancer fundraising runs. SSHRC Master’s Scholarship.

Kumar, Nikki. (2005). Fitting In/Activity: A qualitative exploration of second generation Indo-Canadian adolescent girls and their gendered bodies in physical activity.

Unan, Jane. (2003). Colonizing Movement: Exercise and the (Re)Production of Whiteness. EXS and Collaborative Women Studies Program.

Armstrong, Sally, Officer of the Order of Canada. (2001). Human Rights, Human Wrongs: A comparison of Canadian and Afghani girls’ access to health services and physical activity.

Herskowitz, Amy. (2001). Bodily discursions in a byte-size reality: A critical analysis of women’s discussions about their bodies and ‘eating disorders’ on the Something Fishy website.

Ptolemy, Margaret. (1999). A postmodern exploration of the discourse(s) of childhood and how they produce the active child’s body: A case study of Toronto Parks and Recreation documents. Nominated for the Governor General’s Medal.


Health Communication

Physical Cultural Studies

Olympic and Paralympic Studies

Media, Health and Social Change

Health Media and Exercise Sciences

Professional Memberships

Canadian Communication Association 

Canadian Public Health Association 

Centre for Canadian Sport Policy Studies 

International Association for Sociology of Sport 

International Communication Association, Health Communication Division 

National Academy of Kinesiology

North American Society for the Sociology of Sport