Dr Bob Jeffery

Dr Bob Jeffery BA, MA, PhD, FRSA

Course Leader MRes Social Research and Senior Lecturer in Sociology


I am Course Leader for the MRes Social Research, a programme focused on training students for future careers in social research. My central interests are in social inequalities, particularly in terms of social class, work and employment, urban studies and quantitative and qualitative methods. My work has been published in the Industrial Relations Journal, The Sociological Review, Sociology, Sociological Research Online, and Political Studies, amongst others. I have taught at Sheffield Hallam University since 2011, having obtained a Bachelor’s degree from Nottingham Trent University, a Masters from Goldsmiths College, University of London, and a PhD from the University of Salford.


My research on social inequalities began with a series of studies exploring the contemporary experience of class inequalities in the City of Salford (Greater Manchester). These studies have explored transport disadvantage and residential mobility, the impacts of gentrification, policing and the 2011 English Riots, the impact of ‘punitive’ welfare reform, and the persistence of class identities following the putative ‘death of class’.

More recently, from 2018 onwards, my research had explored the extent and experiences of low paid and insecure work in the City of Sheffield and the possibilities of trade union revitalisation in so-called ‘hard-to-organise’ sectors (such as retail, hospitality, courier services and social care). The first strand of this work aims to uncover the harms of work in terms of wage thefts, wage insecurity, health and safety violations, and bullying, discrimination and harassment. The second strand explores the barriers to traditional forms of trade union organising and reviews recent innovations (a return to organising and ‘community unionism’).

In addition to these main bodies of work, I have also undertaken published research into the history of public order policing in Greater Manchester, changing alcohol cultures and the regulation of the night-time economy and voter behaviour.

My areas of interest include:

• Capitalism and Class; Work and Employment; Trade Unions; Poverty and Social Exclusion; Welfare Reform; Urban Studies; Housing and Gentrification; Transport and Mobilities; Social Movements; Policing; Riots; Marxism; Bourdieu; Quantitative and Qualitative Methods; Mixed Methods Research.


Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics

College of Social Sciences and Arts


  • BA Sociology
  • MRes Social Research
  • PGCert Advanced Social Research

  • Deviance, Order and Protest - Level 4
  • Politics of the City - Level 6
  • Survey Method 1 - Level 7
  • Survey Method 2 - Level 7
  • Classical Social Theory – Level 7
  • Contemporary Social Theory – Level 7


Low Paid and Insecure Work in the Sheffield City Region



Journal articles

Etherington, D., Jeffery, B., Thomas, P., Jones, M., & Ledger‐Jessop, B. (2023). Trade union strategies to tackle labour market insecurity: Geography and the role of Sheffield TUC. Industrial Relations Journal. http://doi.org/10.1111/irj.12400

Abdel-Samad, M., Boyle, M., Flanigan, S., Garland, C., Jefferson, T., Jeffery, R., ... Sotiropoulos, G. (2021). Legacies of Contention: Revisiting the 2011 Protest Wave. Contention, 9 (2), 49-63. http://doi.org/10.3167/cont.2021.090204

Jeffery, B., Thomas, P., & Devine, D. (2019). Classificatory struggles in the midst of austerity: policing or politics? The Sociological Review. http://doi.org/10.1177/0038026119874585

Jeffery, R., Devine, D., & Thomas, P. (2018). "There's nothing”: unemployment, attitudes to work and punitive welfare reform in post-crash Salford. Sociological research online, 23 (4), 795-811. http://doi.org/10.1177/1360780418787521

Jeffery, B. (2018). 'I probably would never move, but ideally like I’d love to move this week': class and residential experience, beyond elective belonging. Sociology, 52 (2), 245-261. http://doi.org/10.1177/0038038516668124

Jeffery, B. (2017). Column: Decent housing for everyone in society should be entitlement of all. Sheffield Telegraph. https://www.sheffieldtelegraph.co.uk/news/opinion/column-decent-housing-for-everyone-in-society-should-be-entitlement-of-all-1-8645981

Rodriguez-Amat, J., & Jeffery, R. (2017). Student protests. Three periods of university governance. tripleC. Communication, Capitalism and Critique, 15 (2), 526-542. http://doi.org/10.31269/triplec.v15i2.771

Jeffery, B. (2016). Poverty-stricken Sheffield pensioners forced into life of crime. The Star. https://www.thestar.co.uk/news/poverty-stricken-sheffield-pensioners-forced-into-life-of-crime-1-8106423

Jeffery, B., Tufail, W., & Jackson, W. (2015). Policing and the Reproduction of Local Social Order : a case study of Greater Manchester. Journal on European History of Law, 6 (1), 118-128. http://www.historyoflaw.eu/english/journal_on_european_history_of_law.html

Jeffery, B., & Tufail, W. (2015). 'The riots were where the police were': Deconstructing the Pendelton Riot. Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 2 (2), 37-56. http://doi.org/10.3167/cont.2014.020204

Jeffery, B., Ibrahim, J., & Waddington, D. (2015). Politics, consumption or nihilism: protest and disorder after the global crash. Contention: The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest, 2 (2), 1-4. http://contentionjournal.org/vol-2-iss-2-april-2015/

Jeffery, B., Ibrahim, J., & Waddington, D. (2014). Politics, Consumption, or Nihilism. Contention, 2 (2), 1-4. http://doi.org/10.3167/cont.2014.020201

Jeffery, B., & Tufail, W. (2014). "The Riots Were Where the Police Were. Contention, 2 (2). http://doi.org/10.3167/cont.2014.020204

Tonge, J., Mycock, A., & Jeffery, R. (2012). Does citizenship education make young people better-engaged citizens? Political Studies, 60 (3), 578-602. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9248.2011.00931.x

Jeffery, B., & Jackson, W. (2012). The Pendleton Riot: a political sociology. Criminal Justice Matters, 87 (1), 18-20. http://doi.org/10.1080/09627251.2012.671000

Tonge, J., Evans, J., Jeffery, R., & McAuley, J.W. (2010). New order: political change and the Protestant Orange tradition in Northern Ireland. The British Journal of Politics & International Relations, 13 (3), 400-419. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-856X.2010.00421.x

Book chapters

Jeffery, R., Khan, F., Pandey, A., & Whitaker, T. (2022). Why we need more intergenerational dialogue on the future of work. In Good Work Guild Journal. (pp. 15). Royal Society of Arts: https://www.thersa.org/globalassets/_foundation/new-site-blocks-and-images/reports/2022/09/gwg-journal-090622.pdf

Jeffery, R., & Tufail, W. (2014). Police deviance. In Atkinson, R. (Ed.) Shades of deviance : a primer on crime, deviance and social harm. (pp. 147-150). Abingdon: Routledge: http://doi.org/10.4324/9781315848556

Jeffery, R., & Jackson, W. (2011). Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety: Re-appropriating the Concept of Crisis as Tool for Critique. In Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety An Interdisciplinary Examination of Contemporary and Historical Human Challenges. Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Jeffery, R. (2010). Intoxication, Transgression and Regeneration: The case of binge drinking in Britain as seen along a historical continuum. In Taylor, K.J. (Ed.) Regeneration and Reinvention: Practices of the ‘New’. University of Salford: European Studies Research Institute

Jeffery, R. (2008). Mobile forms of communication and the transformation of relations between the public and private spheres. In Ross, K., & Price, S. (Eds.) Popular Media and Communication: Essays on Publics, Practices and Processes. (pp. 5-23). Cambridge Scholars Publishing: https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/9781847186263


Jackson, W., Jeffery, B., Marino, M., & Sykes, T. (Eds.). (2012). Crisis, Rupture and Anxiety An Interdisciplinary Examination of Contemporary and Historical Human Challenges. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. https://www.cambridgescholars.com/product/978-1-4438-3612-8


Jeffery, R., Beresford, R., Thomas, P., Etherington, D., & Jones, M. (2024). Challenging Sexual Harassment in Low Paid & Precarious Hospitality Work. Sheffield Hallam University.

Pullen, C., Jeffery, R., & Griffiths, T.-.L. (2024). Experiences and Perceived Impacts of the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage: A Qualitative Scoping Study. gov.uk. https://minimumwage.blog.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/sites/157/2024/02/Pullen-et-al-2024_Apprentice-Experiences-2.pdf

Jeffery, R., Khan, F., Pandey, A., & Whitaker, T. (2022). Overcoming intergenerational divides to build better workplaces. Royal Society of Arts. https://www.thersa.org/comment/2022/09/future-of-work-intergenerational-dialogue

Thomas, P., Etherington, D., Jeffery, R., Beresford, R., Beel, D., & Jones, M. (2020). Tackling Labour Market Injustice and Organising Workers: The View from a Northern Heartland. Sheffield TUC. https://lowpaysheffield.com/

Etherington, D., Jeffery, R., Thomas, P., Brooks, J., Beel, D., & Jones, M. (2018). Forging an inclusive labour market - empowering workers and communities : an interim report on low pay and precarious work in Sheffield. Sheffield: Sheffield Trades Union Council.

Internet Publications

Jeffery, R., & Thomas, P. (2019). Class, Collective Bargaining and Labour Rights. https://sheffieldinstituteforpolicystudies.com/2019/05/10/class-collective-bargaining-and-labour-rights/

Jeffery, R., & Jackson, W. (2012). Youth riots: policing disorder in the regenerating city - Understanding the Pendleton Riot (Part 1). https://www.dialoguesociety.org/articles/799-youth-riots-policing-disorder-in-the-regenerating-city-understanding-the-pendleton-riot-part-1.html

Jeffery, R. (2012). Youth riots: policing disorder in the regenerating city - Understanding the Pendleton Riot (Part 2). https://www.dialoguesociety.org/articles/801-youth-riots-policing-disorder-in-the-regenerating-city-understanding-the-pendleton-riot-part-2.html


Jeffery, R. (2021). Harm and Domination in Low Paid and Precarious Work. Presented at: Class, Power and Philosophy, University of Sheffield

Jeffery, R. (2021). Low Paid and Precarious Work in Sheffield. Presented at: Good Work Round Table, Islington, London

Jeffery, R. (2021). From Steel City to Low Pay Capital: Class Composition and Prospects for Union Renewal in the City of Sheffield during the Covid Pandemic. Presented at: European Sociological Association Annual Conference, Barcelona, 2021

Jeffery, R. (2021). Precarity and Challenging the Employment Impacts of Covid-19. Presented at: Creating Knowledge Conference, Sheffield Hallam University

Jeffery, R. (2021). Precarity is the Pandemic: Sheffield, and the Predictable Consequences of a Lack of Bargaining Power. Presented at: British Sociological Association Annual Conference: Remaking the Future, Online

Jeffery, R. (2021). Punishing the Poor and Classificatory Struggles: Decomposition to Recomposition. Presented at: Crime, Criminalisation and Injustice: An International Conference, University of Leeds

Jeffery, R. (2020). Tackling Labour Market Injustice and Organising Workers: The View from a Northern Heartland (Report Launch). Presented at: Tackling Labour Market Injustice and Organising Workers (Report Launch), Online

Jeffery, R. (2019). From Bourdieu to Rancière: Capitals to Classificatory struggles. Presented at: Building on Bourdieu in National and International Spaces, Sheffield Hallam University

Jeffery, R. (2019). What does 21st Century Workplace Democracy Look Like? Presented at: Festival of Debate, The Circle, Sheffield

Jeffery, R. (2019). Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise. Presented at: Class, Austerity and Precarity: A Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies Symposium, Sheffield Hallam University

Jeffery, R. (2019). Developing a Research Base for Sheffield Needs A Pay Rise. Presented at: Britain is Broken, Rotherham Trades and Labour Club

Jeffery, R. (2018). Sheffield’s Deregulated Labour Market and Prospects for Reform. Presented at: Independent Working-Class Education Network Day School, Zest Centre, Sheffield

Jeffery, R. (2018). “Middle-Class People Who Have a Low Opinion of People Like Us”: Classed Identities and Classificatory Struggles. Presented at: British Sociological Association Annual Conference: Identity, Community and Social Solidarity, Northumbria University

Jeffery, R. (2016). “I’m part of that fighting class really’: From Dis-identification to Classificatory Struggles, the Significance of Class in the New Gilded Age. Presented at: Department of Psychology, Sociology and Politics Research Conference, Novotel, Sheffield

Jeffery, R. (2015). '"The Riots Were Where the Police Were: Deconstructing the Pendleton Riot'. Presented at: British Sociological Association Annual Conference: Societies in Transition, Glasgow Caledonian University, 2015

Jeffery, R. (2014). '[A] red rag to a bull, you know what I mean? ': Popular Resistance in the Splintering Post-Industrial City. Presented at: Competitiveness, crisis and political authority in a changing global Order, Leeds Metropolitan University

Jeffery, R. (2014). On the Consequences of Neoliberal Urbanisation: Gentrification, Securitisation and Resistance. Presented at: Critical Perspectives on Youth, Community and Urban Regeneration Seminars, University of Limerick

Jeffery, R., & Clarkson, H. (2014). '"For the People that Have Nothing"': Geographies of Resistance in the 2011 English Riots'. Presented at: Geographies of Neoliberalism and Resistance: The State, Violence and Labour', Jesus College, Oxford

Jeffery, R., & Tufail, W. (2013). "They've made the area look a bit prettier, but that's all": gentrification, social tectonics, securitisation and the right to the city. Presented at: Les classes moyennes dans la ville contemporaine (Middle Classes in the City), Hôtel de Ville de Paris (Paris City Hall)

Jeffery, R. (2013). The Absent Community: Conservative Interventionism and Simulated Engagement in a Splintering City. Presented at: Language, Ideology and Power Research Group, University of Lancaster

Jeffery, R. (2013). Researching the 2011 English Riots: What do we think we know?

Jeffery, R. (2013). "They don’t mix or anything": Gentrification and hysteresis in a Splintering City. Presented at: Media and Cultural Studies @ NTU: 21 years - the past, the present, the future, Nottingham Trent University

Jeffery, R. (2012). A history of oppositional Salford: from dirty old town to splintering post-industrial city. Presented at: Oppositions Conference, University of Salford, 2012

Jeffery, R. (2012). "They're all f***ing top houses, but try and get me one": Gentrification, hysteresis, urban inequality and belonging. Presented at: Symbolic Power and Urban Inequality: Taking Bourdieu to Town, University of York

Jeffery, R. (2012). Riots, Pure and Simple: Invited Keynote. Presented at: Riots: Pure and Simple?, Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, London

Jeffery, R., & Jackson, W. (2012). Policing the return of capital to the post-industrial city: regeneration and the politics of security. Presented at: Security, Policing and Social Control: The Post-Crash City, University of York

Jeffery, R., & Jackson, W. (2011). The Pendleton Riot: A Political Sociology. Presented at: Urban Unrest, Social Resentment and Justice, University of York

Jeffery, R. (2010). Transport and Social Exclusion: From a UK Inner-city Neighbourhood to Europe and Beyond. Presented at: Our Common Future, Hannover

Jeffery, R. (2009). Free Public Transport: An idea whose time has come? Presented at: Manchester Transport Economics Lecture Series, University of Manchester

Jeffery, R. (2008). Intoxication, Transgression and Regeneration: The case of binge drinking in Britain as seen along a historical continuum. Presented at: Regeneration and Reinvention: Practices of ‘the New’, University of Salford

Other publications

Jeffery, B. (2018). Gentrification and the Return of Class. Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies: https://sheffieldinstituteforpolicystudies.com/2018/09/05/gentrification-and-the-return-of-class/

Other activities

Member of the Good Work Guild - Royal Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce

Associate Editor of Contention: the Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

Reviewer for Parliamentary Affairs, The International Journal of Social Research Methodology, Sociology, Sociological Research Online and The Sociological Review.

Postgraduate supervision

  • Ben Ledger Jessop - Workers in the Contemporary Warehouse: Experiencing and Navigating Harms
  • Joe McMullan - A working - Class Backlash? An Exploration of how Class, Place, Culture and Identity shape Socio-Political Rupture.


My key interests encompass a wide range of issues related to Social Inequalities. I have contributed to the local, regional and national media on issues such as the Changing Nature of Social Class, Housing, Impacts of Poverty, the 2011 English Riots, Policing Reform and Transport Inequalities.

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