Emeritus Professor Maurice Roche

BSc (Econ), PhD

Department of Sociological Studies

Emeritus Professor of Sociology


Full contact details

Emeritus Professor Maurice Roche
Department of Sociological Studies
The Wave
2 Whitham Road
S10 2AH

Maurice took his first degree and his in Sociology (supervised by Prof. Ernest Gellner) at the London School of Economics in the 1960s and 70s, and he was a Lecturer there 1970-73. Since then Maurice has been based in the Department of Sociological Studies at Sheffield University, except for a year in the Sociology Department at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada 1976-7.

In the 1970s he worked mainly in the field of the philosophy of social science, phenomenological sociology and social theory (research Theme 3). Perspectives and issues from this early work have continued to inform and to be represented in his later work, particularly in terms of the analysis of time as a fundamental dimension of interpersonal life and social organisation. Since the 1980s there have been two main themes in my subsequent and current research and scholarly work:

  • The comparative sociology and social theory of citizenship in European society
  • The sociology of popular culture (sport events, cultural events, tourism culture)

Maurice has contributed actively to UK and international sociology in each of these interconnected areas, including studies of policy dimensions and applications.

He has a strong record in terms of teaching and curriculum innovation, including leading the creation of a new School of Journalism, Media and Communication in Sheffield University (1992-4), and also in university administration at all levels.

Research interests

Research themes:

  • The comparative sociology and social theory of citizenship in European society
  • The sociology of popular culture (sport events, cultural events, tourism culture)
  • The philosophy of social science, phenomenological sociology and social theory

Achievements and international recognition in research:

In each of his three thematic research areas, Maurice has published a major internationally-cited and recognised single-authored book, (among many other publications, see Section 4), namely:

  • Rethinking Citizenship, 1992/6, (Polity)
  • Mega-Events and Modernity, 2000, (Routledge)
  • Phenomenology, Language and the Social Sciences, 1973 (Routledge)

On the basis of this international recognition, he has presented his work at many overseas conferences and universities, and at major international disciplinary conferences, over the years, often as an invited and funded speaker. This includes conferences organised by such bodies as the American Sociology Association, the International Sociology Association, the European Commission, the World Leisure Association, the International Olympic Committee, and the Soros Foundation's Open Society Institute.

International research funding and leadership:

In the field of the comparative sociology of citizenship and European society in particular:

  • The SEDEC network
    • Maurice founded a multi-national European social research network in 1994 (the SEDEC network) and coordinated its research and publication activities through to 2001.
    • Maurice was awarded over £250,000 funding for two highly competitive European Commission TSER awards under the EC's Framework 4 programme in 1998-2000.
  • The ESCUS centre
    • Maurice created and was the Director the ESCUS research centre in Sheffield University 2003-2006. This was an experimental inter-disciplinary and internationally-oriented University research centre on European Social and Cultural Studies. The centre involved over a dozen departments and units across the university. His ESCUS work drew on his research achievements and interests both in Theme 1 and also in Theme 2.
    • Maurice organised an international conference on `The European Public Sphere´ in 2004 and an international workshop on the same topic in 2005 as part of my ESCUS work.
    • Connected with this, Maurice was the Coordinator of a cross-European research network and a major bid for large-scale research funding to the EU's FP6 programme on `The European Public Sphere´. However the bid was ultimately unsuccessful.
    • Also he organised the production of an edited book on `Mediating Europe´ (eds. Prof. Jackie Harrison and Dr. Bridgette Wessels, Berghahn Press, Oxford, 2006/7).
Date Sponsor Details
2004 The British Academy Framework 6 programme on ‘The European Public Sphere’
2003 University Research Committee, University of Sheffield European Social and Cultural Studies (ESCUS) centre project
1998-2000 European Commission Inclusion through Participation' - (A study of experiences of unemployment, employment, inclusion and exclusion in comparative perspective 1997-1999).
1998-2000 European Commission Comparative Social Inclusion Policies and Citizenship in Europe
1994 ESRC An international seminar on ‘Citizenship, Work and Income in Europe’ 1994 for the Political Economy Research Centre (PERC), Sheffield University
1983-1988 ESRC British Policy Studies’ (An ESRC national Doctoral Programme involving 16 doctoral researchers over four years 1984-8)