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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests embrace interdisciiplinary approaches to the analysis of sport and leisure cultures in both historical and contemporary settings. My background in the humanities and sociology blends with cultural studies and much of my research has combined cultural historical work with a critical, and often investigative, cultural sociology. In the leisure sphere, I have researched the nature of sporting spectacle and the governance structures of international sport, and written extensively on football cultures across a spectrum from the local to the global. My most recent book - Sir Stanley Rous and the Growth of World Football: An Englishman Abroad (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, forthcoming 2020) - combines cultural history with sociological interpretation in subjecting the life of a former FIFA President and FA Secretary to close scrutiny. It takes the life of Rous as a lens for understanding the contribution of sport to forms of social mobility and cultural change, and to the wellbeing of citizens, from the later 19th century through to the last quarter of the 20th century. 

A concern with wellbeing, particularly in leisure forms and practices across the arts and sports, has been at the heart of collaborative work with colleagues at Brunel University London, and other institutions, in the ESRC-funded evidence review programme Culture, Sport and Wellbeing, and further follow-on work on Culture, Sport and Communities, co-funded by the ESRC and partner cultural associations.

Supervisory Interests

With 32 PhDs supervised to successful completion, I have extensive experience in supervisiong interdisciplinary doctoral projects to successful completion, and am interested in taking on further doctoral candidates in the fields such as sport studies, leisure studies, cultural history, cultural studies and media studies.

Scholarly biography

I studied Humanities and Sociology at the University of Kent, graduating with a BA Hons (English and Sociology), 1968-71. After taking a PGCE in English and Social Studies (Christ Church College, Canterbury, now Canterbury Christ Church University), I gained an MA in Sociological Studies at the University of Sussex in 1973, going on to take my DPhil in 1977 (in the area of the historical sociology of the novel).

Beginning as a lecturer in sociology at the Chelsea College of Physical Education in 1975, I have taught and researched at what in 1992 became the University of Brighton for more than four decades.  


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