Maurice-Roche.jpgEmeritus Professor Maurice Roche

Emeritus Professor of Sociology

(BSc (Econ), PhD)


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 Department of Journalism Studies in Sheffield University (1992-4), and also in university administration at all levels.


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).

Funded Research Projects
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)


In his teaching Maurice always attempted to include opportunities for students’ own interests and work. Generally he always attempted to encourage students to be independent and self-motivating learners as well as being empirically informed and critically analytical. Much of his teaching was research-led and drew significantly on his own studies and publications, attempting to share his enthusiasm for and experience of learning about the social world along the way.

Maurice taught a range of popular Undergraduate courses and modules during his time at the Sociological Studies Department. These were in three broad areas (re. Research Themes above):

i) The Sociology of Citizenship and European Society:
- Previously: `Social Values´, `Sociology of Education´ (also taught at McMaster University 1976/7) and `Sociology of the EU´

ii) The Sociology of Popular Culture:
- Currently: Maurice's own module - `Leisure, Sport & Society´
- Previously: `Culture, Media and Society´, and `Sociology of Education´ (above)

iii) Social Theory:
- Previously: Maurice taught courses in: - `Social Theory´; `Social Philosophy´; `Philosophical Sociology´ both at Sheffield University and also at McMaster (1976/7) & the LSE (1970-3)

Teaching innovation and curriculum development:

Maurice has a strong record of curriculum innovation, within the above areas, on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes at departmental, Faculty and University levels within Sheffield University.

His main achievement was to lead the creation of a new teaching and research department, the Department of Journalism Studies, in Sheffield University when he was seconded to be Director of Journalism Development 1992-4.

During the 1980s and 1990s he also contributed to the curriculum development of UK's secondary school sector by leading the development of a new `A´ level subject for the AEB A level board. He was one of the founding group which organised the introduction of Philosophy as an `A level´ subject. Also Maurice contributed to an EC programme to introduce the study of Europe into the UK (English) secondary curriculum.

A - Postgraduate Level
i) ESRC Interdisciplinary Doctoral Programme in British Policy Studies 1984-9
ii) MA/Diploma, Philosophy, Psychiatry and Society 1988-92
iii) MEd in Physical Education 1982-6
iv) MAs in Journalism Studies (design and development) 1992-4

B - Undergraduate Level
i) BA Journalism Studies 1987-94
ii) BA Social & Political Studies 1986-95
iii) BA Sociology & Social Policy Courses 1973-2006
Developed new and successful courses in `Culture, Media & Society´; `Leisure, Policy & Society´; `Sociology of the EU´, and the core course `Social Values´.
iv) Organizer of Dept. Sociological Studies internal University TQA Report - 1999

C - Secondary School Level
i) European Citizenship in European Union schools 1995-99 (Federal Trust and EC backed curriculum project)
ii) `A´ Level Philosophy in the British School system 1980-95 (AEB course designer and exam Moderator)


Publications since 2005

2017 Mega-Events and Social Change: Spectacle, Legacy and Public (Manchester University Press, Manchester) (329 pp.) ISBN 978-1-5261-1708-3

2016 ‘Megaevento, cicades e regioes no mundo’ (‘Mega-events, cites and world regions’), pages 156-94, in Ricardo Freitas, Flavio Lins and Maria Carmo eds. Megaeventos, Comunicacao e Cidade, Editora CRV, Curitiba, Brazil.

2013 Phenomenology, Language and the Social Sciences (Routledge, Routledge Library of Editions, Phenomenology, Volume 6, London), (361pp.), (ISBN 978-0-415-70302-4) (This is a reprint of my 1973 book, below)

2012 ‘ ‘Megaeventos y cambios comunicativos. El complejo mediatico-deportivo en la era de Internet’ (‘Mega-events and media change: Media-sport at the advent of the internet era’), pages 117-134, in Ramon Llopis Goig ed.2012 Megaeventos Deportivos: Perspectivas cientificas y studios de caso, Editorial UOC, Barcelona.

2011a ‘Mega-events and Cosmopolitanism: Observations on Expos and European Society in Modernity’, chapter 10 in Maria Rovisco and Magdalena Nowicka eds. The Ashgate Companion to Cosmopolitanism, Ashgate: Farnham, Surrey, UK.

2011b ‘Festivalisation, Cosmopolitanism and European Culture: - On the socio-cultural significance of mega-events’, chapter 8 in Festivals and the Cultural Public Sphere, eds. Gerard Delanty, Liana Giorgi and Monica Sassatelli, Routledge, London, 2011

2011c ‘Cosmopolitanism, Europe and Social Change: A socio-historical perspective on cosmopolitan social order in Europe and the EU’, chapter in G. Delanty ed. The Handbook of Cosmopolitan Studies, Routledge, London

2010a Rethinking Citizenship: Welfare, Ideology and Change in Modern Society (This is a Chinese translation of my 1992 Polity Press book (below), It is published by the Jilin Publishing Group, Beijing, PR China).

2010b Exploring the Sociology of Europe: An Analysis of the European Social Complex (Sage, London), (288pp.), (ISBN 9780761940722).

2010c ‘Rethinking Citizenship: Updating the analysis’, ch.17 Guo, Z. ed. Citizenship in the Context of Modern Politics, Shanghai Publishing, Shanghai (ISBN 978-7-208-09518-2)

2010d ‘The Olympics and ‘global citizenship’’, ch.7, pp.108-120 in Girginov. V. (ed) The Olympics: A Critical Reader, Routledge, London. (NB this is a reprint of a paper which originally appeared in the journal Citizenship Studies in 2002).

2009 J editor Comparative Social Inclusion Policies in Europe, European Commission (ISBN 92-894-7580-3) (160 pages) (edited with Claire Annesley, also author of Introduction, Executive Summary, Chapter 1, Ch.2 A, C, and Ch.3).

2009 ‘Mega-Events and Micro-Modernization: On the sociology of the new urban tourism’, chapter in Page, S. and Connell, J. (eds) Event Tourism, Routledge, London. (NB this is a reprint of a paper which originally appeared in the British Journal of Sociology in 1992).

2008a ‘Putting the London Olympics into perspective: The challenge of understanding mega-events’, in ‘21st Century Society’ Journal of the Academy of Social Sciences, vol.3, no.3, 285-290

2008b ‘Social Citizenship: Grounds of Social Change’, pp. 94-116, in the Chinese translation of Handbook of Citizenship Studies, eds. E. Isin, and B. Turner, Zhejiang Renmin Press, Hangxhou (originally published in English in the 2002 Sage version of the Handbook).

2008c ‘Mega-Events, Time and Modernity’, chapter in Nacke, S., Unkelback, R., Werron, T. eds. Weltreignisse: Theoretische und Empirische Perspectiven, VS Verlag fur Sozialwissenschaften, GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Weisbaden. (This is a reprint in a German publication of my 2003 Time and Society journal article).

2007a ‘Cultural Europeanisation and the ‘Cosmopolitan Condition’: EU regulation and European sport’. In Rumford, C. ed., chapter 8, pp. 126-141, Europe and Cosmopolitanism, Liverpool University Press, Liverpool.

2007b ‘Citizenship, Popular Culture and Europe’, chapter 6 in Nick Stevenson ed. Culture and Citizenship. Publishers: - Jinlin Publishing Group, China. (This is a Chinese translation of my chapter in the Chinese publication of this book which was originally published in 2001 by Sage in the UK).

2006a ‘Nationalism, Mega-Events and International Culture’, chapter 22, pp.260-272, in G.Delanty and K.Kumar eds. Handbook of Nations and Nationalism Studies, Sage, London

2006b ‘Mega-events and Modernity revisited: - Globalisation and the case of the Olympics’, ch.2, pp.27-40, in Horne, J. and Manzenreiter, W. eds. Sports Mega-Events: Social Scientific Analyses of a Global Phenomenon, Oxford, Blackwell.

2005 ‘The Olympics and the development of ‘global society’’ (revised version of 2003 paper), pp.51-86, in the journal Imeros, vol 5, No.1, special issue ‘Athletics, Society and Identity – Proceedings of the FHW Conference 2004’, Foundation for the Hellenic World, Athens (ISSN 1108-8125)