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Tony Blackshaw

Professor Tony Blackshaw

Professor of Leisure Studies and Sociology


Tony is Professor of Leisure Studies and Sociology. He joined Hallam at the turn of the century. He is author of ten books and numerous refereed journal articles. As his job title suggests, Tony has particular expertise in the sociology of leisure, but he has published on a variety of other topics, including sport and community studies, and is known internationally for his work on the sociology of Zygmunt Bauman. In recognition of the diversity of his expertise, he has been invited scholar at a number of universities across the world as well as at organisations outside the academy, including L’Oréal (Paris) and the research and technology company Substance.

  • About

    Tony’s academic career began at Hallam at the turn of the twenty-first century. Since 2003, he has produced tem books, comprising two research monographs, five studies which all critique and re-imagine their subjects in unexpected ways, one dictionary, one reader and one voluminous edited collection, as well as numerous book chapters, peer reviewed articles and book reviews, knitting together theory and method to create an ‘indisciplinary’ approach for considering the untidiness of human life in number of different subject fields. His work defies easy definition. This is because at its centre lies what Northrop Frye called the "educated imagination" which, in exempting us from the duties of location and denotation, permits the greatest freedom of all. Among its self-determinations two stand out: experimentation and innovation. 

    Previous works include three volumes which together reinvigorate leisure studies for the twenty-first century by changing our sense of it (Leisure Life, 2003; Leisure, 2010; Reimagining Leisure Studies, 2017), an original reading of the relationship between sport and deviance (New Perspectives on Sport and ‘Deviance’, 2004), a historical study of working-class life in the second half of the twentieth century (Working-Class Life in Northern England 1945-2010, 2013) based on a 3 year study funded by the British Academy, the chapter on community in the world’s foremost reference work of the study of religion (Vocabulary for the Study of Religion, 2015), and a critical survey of the work of the sociologist Zygmunt Bauman (2005). In recognition of the diversity of his expertise, Tony has been invited scholar at a number of universities across the world as well as at organisations outside the academy, including L’Oréal (Paris) and the research and technology company Substance.

    Specialist areas of interest

    Tony is an ‘indisciplinary’ sociologist whose interests lie in the Big Seven leisure pursuits (alcohol, gambling, holidays, recreational drug use, sex and television – not necessarily in that order!), sport and community studies, and the social theories and philosophical foundations of social research that underpin these.

  • Teaching


    BA (Hons) Sport Studies


    Sport and Community Development
    Social Perceptions of Leisure

  • Research

    Current research projects

    Tackling the Health Divide in Northern England: An Investigation of Inequality of Outcome in Rugby League Football.

    Selected research reports

    BLACKSHAW, Tony (2013). Working-Class Life in Northern England 1945-2010: The pre-history and after-life of the Inbetweener generation. Palgrave MacMillan. 272 pages. ISBN: 0-230-34814-9.

    Collaborators and sponsors

    British Academy (Looking Back Project, 2008-2011 and Malaysian Men and Masculinities, 2002-2003)

  • Publications

    A list of publications is available from the institutional repository, SHURA

    BLACKSHAW, Tony (2007). ‘Zygmunt Bauman’ in R. Stones (ed.) Key Sociological Thinkers (second edition). Palgrave Macmillan. pp 368-382 ISBN: 978-0-230-00156-5.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony (2006). ‘Too Good For Sociology’, Polish Sociological Review 155 (3) pp 293-306. ISSN: 1231-1413.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony (2005). Zygmunt Bauman. Routledge. 170 pages. ISBN: 0-415-35505-2.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony and CRABBE, Tim (2005). ‘Leeds on Trial: Soap opera, performativity and the rationalisation of sports-related violence’, Patterns of Prejudice 39 (3) pp 327-342. ISSN: 0031-322x.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony and LONG Jonathan (2005). ‘What’s the Big Idea? A critical exploration of the concept of social capital and its incorporation into leisure policy discourse’, Leisure Studies 24 (3) pp 239-258. ISSN: 0261-4367.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony and CRABBE, Tim (2004). New Perspectives on Sport and ‘Deviance’: consumption, performativity and social control. Routledge. 211 pages. ISBN: 0-415-28884-3. 50% contribution to the work.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony (2003). Leisure Life: myth, masculinity and modernity. Routledge. 185 pages. ISBN: 0-415-27073-1.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony (2002). 'The Sociology of Sport Reassessed in the Light of the Phenomenon of Zygmunt Bauman', International Review for the Sociology of Sport 37 (2) pp 199-217. ISSN: 1012-6902.

    LONG, Jonathan and BLACKSHAW, Tony (2000). ‘Back to Literacy’, Leisure Studies 19 (4) 227-245. ISSN: 0261-4367.

    BLACKSHAW, Tony and LONG, Jonathan (1998). ‘A Critical Examination of the Advantages of Investigating Community and Leisure from a Social Network Perspective’, Leisure Studies 17 (4) pp 233-248. ISSN: 0261-4367.

  • Other activities

    Editor of Routledge’s Critical Leisure Studies Book Series.
    Currently member of the Editorial Boards of Studia Krytyczne/ Critical Studies and the Annals of Leisure Research.
    Associate Editor and Classic Book Reviews Editor for the Annals of Leisure Research 2012-2017.
    External Examiner for the MA Sport and Society/Sport and the Media/Sport and International Development at the University of Brighton 2009-2014.

  • Postgraduate supervision


    University of Otago, New Zealand,  ‘An Ethnography of Urban Exploration: Unpacking its Social Spaces and Understanding its Communities’, PhD.
    Sheffield Hallam University, ‘The Importance of the Life Course in Developing a Commitment to Sport and Physical Activity in Mid Life’, Professional doctorate.
    Sheffield Hallam University, ‘Away from Nothing:  An Ethnographic Study of Travelling Sheffield Wednesday Supporters’, PhD. 


    Sheffield Hallam University, ‘Consuming Football Celebrity: patronage, power and performativity in the digital age’, PhD, September 2015.
    Sheffield Hallam University, ‘Car Stickers and Coffee Mugs:  A study of football and everyday life’, PhD, September 2011.

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