Recreation and Sport Studies

Studying, Experiencing and Facilitating Kinesiology, Recreation and Sport through Wellness and Physical Activity

Recreation & Sport Studies in a Faculty of Kinesiology: Awkward Partnership or Perfect Fit?

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According to the Andrews et al. (2014) critical essay McKinesiology, “kinesiology is fraught with hyperfragmentation and hyperspecialization” (p. 335). As part of a broader shift in universities towards a corporate model of operational efficiency, the McDonaldization of society (Ritzer, 2004) is evident in the McDonaldizaiton of higher education.


This thesis posits that the ‘McUniversity phenomenon’ crosses the spectrum of Faculties and Departments, of which Kinesiology is not exempt. Thus, according to Andrews et al. (2014), “Kinesiology has been McDonaldized: It is cheaply produced in a standardized and highly predictable form; it is outwardly seductive and appealing, popular and (ful)filling, but closer inspection reveals a bland and insubstantial structure; it offers anything but a balanced and healthy composite of the various food groups …” (Andrews et al., 2014, p. 342).

What the authors are suggesting is a learning environment where, “today’s McKinesiology departments tend either to be exclusively bio-science focused, or unapologetically bio-science centric (the social sciences and humanities being grudgingly tolerated, but habitually underfunded and undersupported” (Andrews et. al, 2014, pg. 342).

A different perspective on ‘Kinesiological relations’ is offered by Kretchmar (2014) entitled: Complementary Kinesiology: Why its not wise to choose sides or work alone. Kretchmar offers his examples of the dichotomies within Kinesiology These dichotomies include:

  • Movement as a means (duty)  Movement as an end (play),
  • focus on health focus on meaning, and
  • an alliance with medicine  alliance with education.

Within these dichotomies, Kretchmar (2014) identifies a “Kinesiology Sweet Spot” well within the margins of Science (Biology, Physics) vs. Humanities (Social Science, Arts) and Life (Physicality) vs. Quality of Life (Mental/Spiritual) that permeate Faculties of Kinesiology across North America.


It is this sweet spot that Kinesiology faculties (and graduates) would be best served. Thus, according the Kretchmar (2014), “the best custodians in complementary kinesiology will be those who neither choose sides nor work alone” (p. 261).

RSS 4092ers: What are your thoughts on either of these two positions? How do they relate to your experience in UNB’s Faculty of Kinesiology?


UNB Faculty of Kinesiology: Bachelor of Recreation & Sports Studies, MBA in Sport & Recreation Management, and Master of Arts in Sport & Recreation Studies

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