Spencer has an eclectic range of research interests that span three separate yet closely interrelated areas. The first focusses on the sociology of sport, leisure and culture, examining issues pertaining to identity, social space, consumerism, and deviance. The second looks at sports policy and management, researching areas relating to corporate social responsibility, community sports development, and political ideologies. The final strand looks at social and cultural theory, examining topics such as social exclusion, morality, modernity, and societal transformation.
Spencer has degrees in Social and Political Thought and Sport, Leisure and Culture; his PhD examined the role of leisure in the Somali diaspora in Britain, exploring issues pertaining to identity, social exclusion, and morality. During his PhD, Spencer worked as a lecturer and research assistant at Leeds Beckett University in the Centre for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion teaching on a range of degrees including Sports Development, Sports Business Management, Physical Education, and the well-renowned MA in Leisure, Sport and Culture. Recently, he has taken on the role of lecturer in Sports Development/Management and Sociology at York St John University, teaching on a wide array of interdisciplinary modules in policy, management and citizenship. Outside of academia, Spencer has a background in education and sports development, the latter of which saw him working on initiatives designed to engage socially excluded groups into sport and recreation.