Dr Paul Ian Campbell

Lecturer in Sociology


Contact details

Room: 1.05 Bankfield House

Tel: +44 (0)116 223 1616



Personal details

  • Sociology BA (University of Derby)
  • PhD (co-supervised by De Montfort University and University of Leicester)

I joined the School of Media, Communication and Sociology at the University of Leicester as a Lecturer in Sociology in January 2019. Prior to this I was a Senior Lecture and Course Director of Sociology at Coventry University and a Senior Lecture in Education, Special Needs and Inclusion Studies and Education Studies. Prior to working in academia, I was a secondary school teacher.


My PhD was on the sociology and history of race, ethnicity and local football in Leicester was jointly supervised at De Montfort University and the University of Leicester and funded by the East midland’s Association.

I am a member of the British Sociological Association and the British Society for Sports History



  • SY1002 Society in Transformation (contributor)
  • SY1018 Thinking Sociologically About Crime (contributor)
  • Postgraduate
  • SY7036 (module convener: 2018-19)
  • SY7045 (module convener: 2018-19)

Postgraduate research (PGR)

  • Supervision of PhD students

Research Interests

I am an active and award winning researcher. My research interests are centred on the themes of race and ethnicity and local and professional football from a sociological and historical perspective. I am also interested in the mixed-raced and dual heritage experience, youth, classed identities, community change and leisure.

My current project explores issues of ageing, re-training and identity reconstruction for retired professional footballers in Britain during their transitions to mainstream careers. And the continuing African-Caribbean diaspora in Leicester and Britain, through an analysis of third- and fourth-generation Caribbean-heritage Britons who are dual-heritage (Caribbean and white) through the lens of local football networks as a cultural space

Awards and Prizes

My monograph, 'Football, Ethnicity and Community: The life of an African-Caribbean Football Club' (Peter Lang) won the British Sociological Association’s Philip Abrams Prize 2017 and was shortlisted for the British Society of Sports History Lord Aberdare Literary Prize the same year.

Research and Supervision Interests

  • Race and ethnicity
  • BAME community formation and change
  • Local and Professional Football
  • Youth, masculinity and identity formation
  • Leisure and Sport
  • The experience of dual-heritage and mixed-raced individuals and groups



Campbell, P.I. (Forthcoming 2021) Identity Politics, ‘Mixed-Race’ and Local Football in 21st Century Britain: ‘Mix’ and Match Bingley: Emerald

Campbell, P.I. (forthcoming 2019) Education training, retirement and career transition for ex-professional footballers: ‘From being idolised to stacking shelves’ Bingley: Emerald

Campbell, P.I. (2016) Football, Ethnicity and Community: The life of an African-Caribbean football club Oxford: Peter Lang

Journal articles and book chapters

Campbell, P.I. (forthcoming 2019) “That black boy's a different class’: Race, class and local football in Leicester c. 1980 – 2010’ Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power

Campbell, P. I. (2015) ‘A (‘black’) historian using sociology to write a history of ‘black’ sport: A critical reflection’ Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health Vol. 7 No. 3, 377-394 (Cite Score 1.66)

Campbell, P.I. and Williams, J.  (2014) ‘‘Race’, Politics & Local Football: Continuity and change in the life of a British African-Caribbean local football club’ Sport in Society DOI: 10.1080/17430437.2015.928478

Campbell, P.I. and Williams, J.  (2013) Can “the ghetto” take over the county?: ‘Race’, generation & social change in local football in the UK International Review for the Sociology of Sport DOI: 1012690213514740 (Impact Factor 1.914)

Campbell, P.I. (2013) “Cavaliers made us ‘United’: Local football and the identity politics of second-generation African-Caribbean youth in the East Midlands c.1970-1979” Sport in History Vol. 33, No. 2, 169-194

Campbell, P.I. (2011) “What Is Rangers Resisting Now? ‘Race’, ‘resistance’ and shifting notions of blackness in local football in Leicester” in Burdsey, D. Race, Ethnicity and Football; Persisting Debates and Emergent Issues Abingdon: Routledge

Other publications

Campbell, P. I. (January 19, 2018) ‘Football and race relations have progressed a lot since Regis’s day – but not enough’ The Conversation https://theconversation.com/football-and-race-relations-have-progressed-a-lot-since-cyrille-regiss-day-but-not-enough-90274

Media work

Sport and Philosophy – Inside an African-Caribbean Football Club Thinking Allowed BBC Radio 4 14 June 2017 (podcast available at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tcnzp)

Keynote Lectures and Panels

The Challenge: Re-imagining Race, Diversity and Opportunity in Football The Football Collective Second Annual Conference: Challenging the Narrative University of Glasgow 23-24 November 2018

‘The African-Caribbean influence on British sport and social life and the influence of British sport and social life on African-Caribbean Communities’ British Society of Sport History Conference Westminster University 7-8 September 2018

Conference papers

What is Cavaliers FC resisting now? Questions of ‘resistance’ and shifting notions of blackness in local football in Leicester c 1970 – 2010’ Recording Leisure Lives 2019: Sporting Cultures, Clubs and Communities in 20th Century Britain University of Bolton 16 April 2019

‘‘He is like a Gazelle (when he runs)’: A Quantitative and qualitative examination of Football Commentary and (re)constructions of race and nationalism at the men’s 2018 FIFA World Cup’ The Football Collective Second Annual Conference: Challenging the Narrative University of Glasgow 23-24 November 2018

‘You go from being idolised to stacking shelves’: An oral history of education training, retirement and career transition for ex-professional footballers in England c.1988-2008 International Football History Conference Manchester City FC 7-8 June 2018

Sub-Plenary Lecture: ‘The ‘black’ middle-classes, boundary work and local football in the British East-Midlands’ British Sociological Association Annual Conference Northumbria University 10-12 April 2018

‘Ethnicity, Community and local Football in Leicester: A ‘black’ sociologist ‘doing’ critical black history’ Guest Lecture University of Wolverhampton 7 November 2017

‘Class divisions, race and local football in British East Midlands c 1982 - 2010’ The Football Collective Second Annual Conference: Football, Politics and Popular Culture University of Limerick 23-24 November 2017

‘Race, class and local football in Leicester c. 1980 – 2010’ Leisure in Black British Communities The Institute of Historical Research: University of London 13 June 2016

‘'That black boy's a different class': Race, class and local football in Leicester c. 1980 – 2010’ ‘Small Worlds': Football at the Grassroots in Comparative and Global Perspective Institute of European Sport Development and Leisure Studies, German Sport University Cologne 12 September 2015

‘Living after the dream: A sociological exploration of (re)entry into mainstream work for retired ex-professional footballers’ 16th Annual Education Research Conference University of Wolverhampton 4 July 2014

‘A black researcher using sociology to do ‘black history’: Reflections on the ‘insider’-‘outsider’ debate’ 5th ENQUIRE Conference University of Nottingham 11 September 2012

‘“The ‘ghetto’ has taken over the county”: ‘Race’, generation and patterns of contestation in a local black sports club’ The fourth International Conference on Sport, Race and Ethnicity Conference University of Ulster 28 – 30 June 2012

‘Ethnicity and Sport in Leicester’: A Historical and Sociological exploration of Highfield Rangers FC c.1970-2010 Humanities Seminar Series De Montfort University 27 October 2010

‘Is Rangers still a black club?’ Sport, community and changing notions of blackness in modern Leicester’ Race Ethnicity and Football Workshop University of Brighton 22 May 2009

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Contact Details

School of Media, Communication and Sociology

Campus based courses
E: mcs-enquiries@le.ac.uk
T: +44(0)116 252 3863

Distance Learning Courses
E: css-dl@le.ac.uk
T: 0116 252 3755

Research degrees (campus-based and distance learning courses)
T: +44(0)116 252 2785
E: MCS-Research@le.ac.uk

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University of Leicester
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