Professor Tim May
Professor of Social Scientific Methodology
Telephone: 0114 222 7121
Tim holds degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science (BSc Econ) and the Universities of Surrey (MSc) and Plymouth (PhD). These followed a career as an engineer in the agricultural sector and work in retail, during which time he undertook a two-year evening return-to-study course to qualify for a university place.
With a strong focus on methodology in terms of the relationship between knowledge, evidence, policy and context, Tim has worked in different organisations and projects through funding from international, national and regional and local sources: for example, ESRC, EPSRC, AHRC, Mistra Urban Futures, European Commission, Ford Foundation, NHS, NESTA, Arup Group, British Business Chambers, Whitehall and Manchester and Salford City Councils.
Tim has authored, co-authored and edited 16 books (including new editions) that have been translated into 15 languages and co-edited 8 special editions of journals.
He was the editor of an international book series (‘Issues in Society’, Open University Press/McGraw-Hill) in which seventeen books were published by leading authors in their fields of expertise (1998-2010).
He has written over one hundred and eighty articles, book chapters, research reports, government submissions, policy briefings and articles in varying media. His recent and forthcoming publications include: ‘Knowledge for Just Urban Sustainability’ (with Beth Perry, Local Environment, 2016); ‘Urban Crisis: Bonfire of Vanities to Produce Opportunities in the Ashes’ (Urban Studies, 2017); ‘Reflexivity: The Essential Guide’ (with Beth Perry, Sage Publications, 2017); ‘Cities and the Knowledge Economy: Promise, Politics and Possibilities’’ (with Beth Perry, Routledge, 2017); ‘Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process’ (with Beth Perry, 5th edition, McGraw-Hill, 2018) and Thinking Sociologically’ (with the late Zygmunt Bauman, Wiley-Blackwell, 2018) and a special edition entitled ‘The Future of Sustainable Cities: Governance, Policy and Knowledge (with Simon Marvin, Local Environment). For further information please see ResearchGate
May, T. and Perry, B. 2019. Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. 5th Edition. Maidenhead, Berks: Open University Press/Mc Graw-Hill.
Bauman, Z. and May, T. 2019. Thinking Sociologically. 3rd edition. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Published (from 2000 only)
May, T. and Perry, B. 2018. Cities and the Knowledge Economy: Promise, Politics and Possibilities. Oxford: Routledge.
May, T. and Perry, B. 2017. Reflexivity: Social Research, Knowledge and Practice. London: Sage.
May, T. (2011). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. 4th Edition. Maidenhead, Berks: Open University Press/Mc Graw-Hill.
May, T. with Perry, B. (2011). Social Research and Reflexivity: Content, Consequences and Context. London: Sage.
May, T. and Powell, J. (2008). Situating Social Theory. 2nd Edition. Maidenhead, Berks: Open University Press/Mc Graw-Hill.
May, T. (ed) (2002). Qualitative Research in Action. London: Sage.
Bauman, Z. and May, T. (2001). Thinking Sociologically. Oxford: Blackwell.
May, T. (2001). Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process. 3rd Edition. Buckingham: Open University Press.
From 2000 only
2019 ‘Hermeneutics’. With Will Mason, W. In Atkinson, P., Delamont, S., Hardy, M. and Williams, M. (eds). The Sage Encyclopedia of Research Methods. London: Sage.
May, T., Perry, B. and Willmott, H. 2016. ‘Cities, Universities and Urban Knowledge Exchange: Lessons from a Regional Experiment in the UK’. In Mercurio, R. (ed). Organizational Networks for Innovation. Milan: Egea.
May, T. and Perry, B. 2016. ‘Cities, Experiments and the Logics of the Knowledge Economy?’ In Evans, J., Karvonen, A. and Raven, R. (eds). The Experimental City. London: Routledge.
Perry, B. and May, T. 2015. ‘Context matters: the English Science Cities and Visions for Knowledge-Based Urbanism. In Tian Miao, J., Benneworth, P. and Phelps, N. (eds). Making 21st Century Knowledge Complexes: Technopoles of the World 20 Years After. London: Routledge.
Perry, B. and May, T. 2015. ‘Lessons on the Research-Practice Relationship: From Critique to Co-Production in Greater Manchester’. In Polk, M. (ed). Co-Producing Knowledge for Sustainable Cities: Joining Forces for Change. London: Routledge.
May, T., Perry, B. 2013. ‘Reflexivity and Data Analysis’. In Flick, U. (ed). Handbook of Qualitative Data Analysis. London: Sage.
Perry, B., May, T., Marvin, S. and Hodson, M. 2013. ‘Re-Thinking Sustainable Knowledge-Based Urbanism Through Active Intermediation’. In Anderson, H. T. and Atkinson, R. (eds). The Production and Use of Urban Knowledge: European Experiences. Dordrecht: Springer.
May, T., Hodson, M., Marvin, S. and Perry, B. 2013. ‘Achieving Urban Retrofit Via Purposive Transitions: A Framework For Action’. In Brown, P. and Swan, W. (eds). Retrofitting the Built Environment. Oxford: Blackwell-Wiley.
May, T. 2013. ‘Reflexivity’. In Kaldis, B. (ed). Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences. London: Sage.
May, T. and Perry, B. 2013. ‘Translation, Insulation and Mediation: The Shifting Sands of University Life’. In Benneworth, P. (ed). Universities Engagement with Socially Excluded Communities. Dordrecht: Springer.
May, T. and Williams, M. 2010. ‘Commitment and Investigation in Knowing the Social World’. In Olsen, W. (ed). Realist Methodology, Volume 1: Practical Realist Ontology. London: Sage.
May, T. and Marvin, S. 2009. ‘Elected Regional Assemblies: Lessons for Better Policy Making’. In Sandford, M. (ed). The Northern Veto. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
May, T. and Powell, J. 2007. ‘Michel Foucault’. In Edwards, T. (ed). Cultural Theory: Classical and Contemporary Positions. London: Sage.
May, T. 2007. ‘Regulation, Engagement and Academic Production’. In Harding, A., Scott, A., Laske, S. and Burtscher, C. (eds). Bright Satanic Mills: Universities, Regional Development and the Knowledge Economy. Ashgate: Aldershot.
May, T. and Peters, M. 2007. ‘Higher Education, Regional Policy and the Knowledge Economy: The North-West of the U.K.’. In Marginson, S. (ed). Prospects of Higher Education: Globalization, Market Competition, Public Good and the Future of the University. Sense Publishers: Rotterdam, NL.
May, T. 2006. ‘Transformative Power: A Study in a Human Service Organization’. In Beynon, H., and Nichols, T. (eds). Patterns of Work in the Post-Fordist Era: Volume 2. Cheltenham, Gloucester: Edward Elgar.
Peters, M. and May, T. 2006. ‘Universities, Regional Policy and the Knowledge Economy’. In Kinchloe, J., Hayes, K., Rose, K. and Anderson, P. M. (eds). The Praeger Handbook of Urban Education. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood.
May, T. 2006. ‘Critical Theory’. In Booth, C. and Harrington, J (eds). Developing Business Knowledge. UWE/Sage.
May, T. 2005. ‘Reflexivity and Sociological Practice’. In Williams, M. (ed). The Philosophical Foundations of Social Research, Volume 3: Social Reality and the Social Context of Social Research. London: Sage.
May, T. 2004. ‘Realism and Reflexivity: A Contradiction in Terms?’ In Carter, B. and New, C. (eds). Making Realism Work: Realist Social Theory and Empirical Research. London: Routledge.
May, T. 2004. ‘Poststructuralism’, ‘Critical Theory’, ‘Postempiricism’. In Bryman, A., Lewis-Beck, M. and Futing Liao, T. (eds). Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.
May, T. 2003. ‘Reflexive Vigilance: Engagement, Illumination and Development’. In Harré, R. and Moghaddam, F. M. (eds). The Self and Others: Positioning Individuals and Groups in Personal, Organizational, Political and Cultural Contexts. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger/Greenwood.
May, T. 2002. ‘The Discontented Epoch: Freedom and Security in Bauman’s Postmodernity'. In Beilharz, P. (ed). Zygmunt Bauman: 4 Volumes. Volume 3, ‘The Postmodern’. London: Sage.
May, T. 2002. ‘Transformations in Principles and Practice’. In May, T. (ed). Qualitative Research in Action. London: Sage.
May, T. and Buck, M. 2000. ‘Social Work, Professionalism and the Rationality of Organisational Change’. In Malin, N. (ed). Professionalism, Boundaries and the Workplace. London: Routledge.
From 2000 only
2017 ‘Urban Crisis: Bonfire of Vanities to Find Opportunity in the Ashes’. Urban Studies.
2017 ‘The Future of Sustainable Cities, Governance, Policy and Knowledge’ Marvin, S. and May, T. (eds) Local Environment. Vol 22 (Sup 1).
2017 ‘The Future of Sustainable Cities: Governance, Policy and Knowledge. With Simon Marvin. Local Environment. Vol 22 (Sup 1). pp. 1-7
2016 ‘Knowledge for Just Urban Sustainability’. With Beth Perry. Local Environment.
2011 Contribution to Symposium on ‘Academically Adrift by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa’. International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences. Vol 4 (3). pp. 57-73.
2011 ‘Contours and Conflicts in Scale: Science, Knowledge and Urban Development’. With Beth Perry. Local Economy. Vol 26 (8). pp. 715-720.
2011 Editor, with Beth Perry, of special edition on ‘Building Knowledge Cities: The Roles of Universities’. Built Environment. Vol 37 (3).
2011 ‘Urban Research in the Knowledge Economy: Content, Context and Outlook’. With Beth Perry. Built Environment. Vol 37 (3). pp. 352-367.
2011 ‘Urban Knowledge Arenas: Dynamics, Tensions and Potentials’. In International Journal of Knowledge-Based Development. Vol 2 (2). pp. 132-147.
2010 ‘Contours in Reflexivity: Commitment, Criteria and Change’. Methodological Innovations Online. Vol 5 (1). pp. 24-44.
2010 ‘Urban Knowledge Exchange: Devilish Dichotomies and Active
2008 ‘Excelência, Relevância e a Universidade O Missing Middle do envolvimento socio econonómico’. As second author with Beth Perry. Sociologia. Vol 56. pp. 105-128.
2006 ‘The Missing Middle in Methodology: Occupation Cultures and Institutional Conditions’. Methodological Innovations Online. Vol 1 (1).
2004 ‘L’avenir des universités : espaces de réflexion et/ ou lieux d’attente? (‘The Future of Universities: Places of Reflection and/or Spaces of Expectation?’). Condesria Bulletin (Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa). No 1 and 2. pp. 60-63.
2003 ‘City Futures: Views from the Centre’. With Simon Marvin. City. Vol 7 (2). pp. 211-223.
2002 ‘Rom Harré on Social Structure and Social Change’. With Malcolm Williams. European Journal of Social Theory. Vol 5 (1). pp. 107-111.
2002 Editor, with Malcolm Williams, of special edition entitled ‘Knowing the Social World’. International Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory and Practice. Vol 5 (1).
2002 ‘Commitment and Investigation in Knowing the Social World’. With Malcolm Williams. International Journal of Social Research Methodology: Theory and Practice. Vol 5 (1). pp. 3-9.
2002 ‘Auditing as the Eternal Present: The Depoliticising Implications of Organizational Transformation in British Higher Education’. With Gideon Baker. European Political Science. Vol 1 (3). pp. 12-22.
2001 ‘Power, Knowledge and Organizational Transformation: Administration as depoliticisation’. Special Issue: ‘Social Epistemology and Knowledge Management’. Social Epistemology. Vol 15 (3). pp. 171-186.
2000 ‘Reflexivity in Social Life and Sociological Practice – A Reply to Roger Slack’ Sociological Research Online. Vol 5 (1).
2000 ‘A Future for Critique? Positioning, Belonging and Reflexivity’. European Journal of Social Theory. Vol 3 (2). pp. 157-173.