Role socialization theory: The sociopolitical realities of teaching physical education

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Much has been learned about the socialization of physical education (PE) teachers using occupational socialization theory (OST). However, important to understanding any socialization process is explaining how the roles that individuals play are socially constructed and contextually bound. OST falls short of providing a comprehensive overview of how the role of the PE teacher is defined and negotiated within schools. The purpose of this paper is to present role socialization theory as a new approach to understanding teacher socialization that integrates elements of OST and role theory. Role socialization seeks to explore: (a) the ways in which the occupational role of the PE teacher is socially constructed and contextually bound in a school setting; (b) how individuals are attracted to, prepared for, and socialized into PE teaching and coaching roles; and (c) how socialization influences the ways in which role-sets view the role of the PE teacher as a member of the school community.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-393
Number of pages15
JournalEuropean Physical Education Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 25 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Physical education
  • occupational socialization theory
  • role theory
  • workplace culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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