Professor Alan Tomlinson is a renowned scholar and researcher on the social history and sociology of sport, leisure and popular culture.
Alan has been a pioneer of the critical social scientific study of sport and is the author of numerous books on sport, leisure and consumption, including Consumption, Identity and Style as well as being a long-term contributor to the soccer periodical When Saturday Comes.
He is Professor of Leisure Studies in the School of Humanities.
Professor Alan Tomlinson is an internationally renowned scholar and researcher on the social history and sociology of sport, leisure and popular culture. He has contributed prominently to the growth of sport studies as an established field of scholarly and academic endeavour, co-founded the pioneer degree programme in sport journalism at the University of Brighton, and has edited/authored over thirty volumes and over 100 articles/chapters.
Alan edited a leading sport studies journal, the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, for four years from 2000. He is a long-term contributor to the soccer periodical When Saturday Comes, has reported on sports matters for newspapers and magazines in the UK, Germany, the Caribbean and the Gulf, and has made numerous contributions to radio and television coverage of sport issues in the UK, Canada, Germany, and Australia. He is Professor of Leisure Studies at the University of Brighton, UK, and has worked in close collaboration on sport cultures with Dr Christopher Young, of Pembroke College, Cambridge.
He has been a pioneer of the critical social scientific study of sport, and is the author of numerous books on sport, leisure and consumption, including Consumption, Identity and Style, Sport and Leisure Cultures, A Dictionary of Sports Studies and The World Atlas of Sport. His previous books include Badfellas: FIFA Family at War , with John Sugden (Mainstream, 2003), The Game's Up (Ashgate, 1999), FIFA and the Contest for World Football, with John Sugden (Polity, 1998), and Consumption, Identity and Style (Routledge, 1990). He has cultivated an investigative model of research into the power structures and ideological rhetoric of the powerbrokers of world sport, and written for many years on the politics of world football and the Olympics.
His writings on sport, leisure and popular culture have drawn upon his interdisciplinary background, including social and cultural histories of working-class sport forms, studies of international sporting events and their power dynamics, and analyses of sport media. He has published more than 100 articles, book chapters, reports and books, and is especially well-known for his historically-based work on the making and reporting of large-scale sporting ceremonies and events, which has featured on numerous national and international radio and television broadcasts.
He has edited the journals Leisure Studies and the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, and is on editorial/advisory boards of several journals. He co-founded Brighton’s programme in Sport Journalism, and has led the Sport and Leisure Cultures (SLC) research group to the forefront of international scholarship in the field. His research has been supported by the British Academy, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the European Commission, the Sports Council/Sport England, the South East England Development Agency, the Central Council for Physical Recreation, and numerous regional and local authorities. He has supervised 27 PhDs and 6 MPhils to successful completion, examined 36 doctoral theses, and reviewed for research councils in the UK, Canada and Australia. Professor Tomlinson is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences and a full member of the Sports Journalists' Association. He was made a fellow of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport (NASSS) in 2017.
He studied humanities and sociology at the University of Kent, and took MA and D.Phil degrees in the sociology of culture/literature at the University of Sussex. He is the faculty's Director of Postgraduate research training and his teaching has been in the social history of sport, the sociology of leisure and cultural studies; and supervising research students on media/ sport cultures and comparative sports cultures and politics.
Dr Tomlinson's research interests focus on the application of cultural studies to the analysis of sport. The study of sport as part of a critical sociology of consumption. Challenges of investigative sociology and the nature of sport journalism. Sport and spectacle.
Alan Tomlinson, “Seizing the Olympic platform: 6.6 million and counting”, in Vassil Girginov ed. Handbook of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Volume Two: Celebrating the Games (London and New York: Routledge, 2014), 239-251.
Alan Tomlinson, “The Supreme Leader sails on: Leadership, ethics and governance in FIFA”, Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics, 17/9, 2014: 1155-1169.
Alan Tomlinson, “Stanley Rous, FIFA and the making of a World Cup”, in Mark Perryman ed. 1966 and Not All That (London: Repeater Books, 2016), 177-196.
Alan Tomlinson, “Twitter and the rolling-news agenda in sports news”, in Stephen Cushion and Richard Sambrook eds. The Future of 24-Hour News: New Directions, New Challenges (New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 2016), 213-226.
Alan Tomlinson (with J. Simon Rofe), “Strenuous competition on the field of play, diplomacy off it: The 1908 London Olympics, Theodore Roosevelt and Arthur Balfour, and transatlantic relations”, The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, 15/1, 2016: 60-79.
Alan Tomlinson (with John Sugden), Football, Corruption and Lies: Revisiting “Badfellas”, the Book FIFA Tried to Ban (London and New York: Routledge, 2016).
‘The construction and mediation of the sporting spectacle in Europe, 1992-2004’ (British Academy, £6,759), personal small grant award, 2007-10.
Co-investigator, Sport in Modern Europe, AHRC Network, 2008-10, c. £29,000. See www.sport-in-europe.group.cam.ac.uk
Editor, International Review for the Sociology of Sport (17 issues, 2000-2004).Co-convenor, British Sociological Association Leisure & Recreation Study Group.Peer college, ESRC.International Fellow, The Australian Sociological Association Cultural Sociology Group.Academicien, Academy of the Social Sciences (UK).Editorial board/editorial advisory board member – Theory, Culture & Society; Sport in History; International Journal of Sport Tourism; Journal of Sport and Social Issues; The International Journal of Sports Science and Physical Education; International Review for the Sociology of Sport.Reviewer for: Body & Society; Leisure Studies; Critical Studies in Mass Communication; British Journal of Sociology; Global Society; Social Identities.Guest co-editor, issues of American Behavioral Scientist (volume 46, issue 11, 2003), Journal of Sport History Forum sections 2010 and 2011, European Review issue 2011, and Journal of Historical Sociology issue 2011/12.
2013 £59,000 AHRC Research Collaboration Award, Research Skills Enrichment
2009 £5,000 SEEDA (South-East England Development Agency).
2008 c.£29,000 Arts and Humanities Research Council (with Christopher Young and Richard Holt) for Network on Sport in Modern Europe.
2007 c. £6,900 British Academy
2005 £5,000 Sport England (with Belinda Wheaton).
1994 c£60,000 Research grant from EC DG12, “Human Mobility” programme, for work on Euroracism, Sport and Leisure — University of Brighton with German Sports University (Cologne), Hungarian Sports University (Budapest), Cultural Studies Institute (Vienna), Laboratory of Comparative and Mediterranean Ethnology (Aix en Provence), Centre for the Study of Public Order (Leicester University) and the University of Louvain in Belgium, October 1994–October 1995 (Brighton share, c.£8,000).
Reviews c.40 book reviews in professional and academic journals.
Media Features for the New York Times, Financial Times, When Saturday Comes, New Statesman, New Socialist, Soccer Investor, Der Tagesspiegel, Gulf News; television appearances on BBC and independent television/news (including Panorama), BBC World (Sport Talk), German national television; radio apearances on many local radio stations, Radio 3 (Night Waves), Radio 4 (Start the Week, The Today Programme, PM, The World Tonight, Do the Right Thing, Woman’s Hour, Thinking Allowed), and Radio 5; widely featured on regional and network radio and ABC features in Australia, summer 2000; appearances commenting on World Cup politics and Olympic cultural spectacle on national radio in Australia, Austria, Canada, and the USA. Numerous contributions to BBC World Service.
2012-present: member, Sports Journalists’ Association (UK); member, International Sports Press Association.
External Examiner (Courses): undergaduate
B.A. Leisure Management (Thames Valley University), 1991— 1994.
B.A. “Art/Society” (University of Sussex), 1983, 1986, 1989, 1993.
College of Preceptors, Psycho-Social Aspects of Physical Education, 1992 — 1994. B.Sc. Sports Science (Liverpool Polytechnic), 1986 — 1990.
B.A. Sports Studies (Bedford College), 1984 — 1987.
External Examiner (Courses): taught postgraduate
M.A. Leisure Studies, University of Ulster, 1987—1990, and 1992.
M.A. Leisure and Tourism Studies, University of North London, 1993 — 1996). M.A. Sport, Culture and Development, University of Surrey/Roehampton Institute, 1997 – 2000.
M.A. Sport Politics and Society, University of Warwick, 2000-2005.
M.Sc. Sport Science/Studies, University of Stirling, 2001- 2004.
M.Sc. Sport Studies, Christ Church University College, Canterbury, 2001-
MRes, London Metropolitan University, 2002-
Conference Organiser Leisure Studies Association: 2 major international conferences, 1984 and 1988: Panel organiser, North American Society for the Sociology of Sport, Ottawa, Canada, 1993, Cleveland, USA, 1999, and Colorado Springs, USA, 2000; Annual/national/Leisure Studies Association Conference, 1995; British Society of Sports History Annual Conference, Chelsea School Research Centre, University of Brighton, March-April 1999; Leisure Studies Association conference ‘Whatever happened to the leisure society?, July 2007, co-chair.
Workshop Coordinator British Sociological Association/Leisure Studies Association Workshops (17), 1979 — 1993.
Inaugural Coordinator British Sociological Association Study Group on the Sociology of Sport, 1995-2002; Treasurer, 2002- 2004.
Co-convenor British Sociological Association Study Group on Leisure and Recreation, 2005-
Referee/Reviewer ESRC Research Grant applications (£55,000 – £125,00) and Australian Research Council and Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada applications; AHRC peer college reviewer 2008-10; ESRC peer college reviewer 2010-.
Respondent Reports to the ESRC on completed research projects. Editorial Board/Editorial Advisory Boards
Leisure Studies (1983–—1994)
Theory, Culture and Society —Explorations in Critical Social Science; (1985—) Sociology of Sport Journal (1980s)
The Sports Historian/Sport in History (1993—)
International Journal of the History of Sport (1993-2004)
Publications Officer Leisure Studies Association (1987—1995).
Reviewer Various Publishing Houses (e.g. Macmillan, Routledge, Hutchinson, Open University Press, Pluto, Unwyn Hyman, Longman, Frank Cass) and Journals (including Sociology, Leisure Studies, British Journal of Sociology).
CNAA Leisure and Recreation Studies Specialist Panel.
University of Bournemouth Research Degrees Committee, 1989.
Luton College of Higher Education, Faculty of Business/Research Degrees Committee, 1992 — 1995.
Consultant on Sport/Leisure Studies submissions to UGC Research Assessment Exercise, Autumn 1992 (for Social Policy and Physical Education/Sports Science Units of Assessment).
Adviser (1993–1995) on research development to University of Luton Sport and Leisure Studies Group; Department of Sports Studies, Roehampton Institute; and Sport and Leisure Studies, Cheltenham and Gloucester College.
I have provided referee’s reports/assessments for professorial appointments at Glasgow University, Sheffield Hallam University, Brunel University, Griffiths University, University of Luton, University of Ottawa, University of Montpellier, University of Queensland, University of Illinois, University of Durham, and Leeds Metropolitan University; and for Readership appointments at Sheffield University, Stirling University and London University.
Course Development Consultant / Validating Panel Member
West Sussex Institute of Higher Education, Sports Studies Route, 1990. Roehampton Institute, Sports Studies Degree, 1992. Roehampton Institute, M.A. Sport, Culture and Development, 1996.