Paul Bowell is a PhD candidate within the Sport Innovation Research Group at Swinburne University of Technology. Paul’s research project seeks to understand how women Australian Rules footballers affectively experience digital self-tracking, and what impacts these interactions have on the player’s construction of selfhood, identity-making, and body as athletes. With these insights he aims to develop a framework that empowers women footballers to maximise their performance through digital self-tracking, while promoting positive self-image and women athletes’ identity.
Paul obtained a Bachelor of Arts with Honours specialising in sociology from The Australian National University. Paul’s Honours project, in which he achieved First-Class Honours, investigated the compliance processes of employees who were digitally self-tracked in their workplace. As an undergraduate Paul was awarded a New Colombo Plan scholarship that allowed him to participate in an ethnographic field school in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea (PNG). During the ethnographic field school in PNG Paul conducted fieldwork activities including interviews, survey taking, and social and participant observations focused on the social restrictions of cash cropping. Paul has also worked at Deakin and La Trobe Universities lecturing and tutoring first and second year undergraduate sociology and sports management units. Paul is also a board member for the Sports Innovation Research Group advisory board. A position he has held since May 2022.
Paul and I spoke after the first day of the 2022 Conference of the Sport Management Association of Australia and New Zealand – a.k.a., SMAANZ. I had only met Paul that same day, and yet we easily fell into a wide-ranging conversation about his academic journey and women’s sport. Two days later, Paul won the 2022 SMAANZ three-minute thesis award. Did our chat spur him to victory? Some things are not for us to know.
This episode of The Knowledge Mill was recorded on November 30, 2022 on the campus of Swinburne University of Technology during the 28th Annual SMAANZ Conference.