Dr Paul Ian Campbell

Lecturer in Sociology


Dr Campbell’s research interests are centred on the themes of race and ethnicity and local and professional football from a sociological and historical perspective. He is interested racial inequalities more broadly, and especially in relation to the inequities experienced by black, Asian and minority ethnic students in Higher Education.

Paul leads a number of projects across the university aimed at tackling the award gap for students from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, which focus specifically on decolonizing the curriculum and decolonizing assessment practice, processes and pedagogy.

His book, launched on 28th October 2020, "Education, Retirement and Career Transitions for 'Black' Ex-Professional Footballers" draws on a combination of interviews and auto-ethnographic data, the author provides a case-study of 16 ‘black’ British male professional footballers' preparedness and experiences of retirement and transition from careers as professional athletes to mainstream work. The book offers a new perspective as few studies in sport have attempted to explicitly explore the intersections of race, class and masculinity in relation to career transitions.

Paul is member of the British Sociological Association and the British Society for Sports History.


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


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. (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. (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

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

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


  • 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



  • SY1002 Society in Transformation (contributor)
  • SY1018 Thinking Sociologically About Crime (contributor)


  • SY7036 (module convener: 2018-19)
  • SY7045 (module convener: 2018-19)

Postgraduate research (PGR)

  • Supervision of PhD students

Press and media

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


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.

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