Alan Tomlinson is Professor of Leisure Studies and Director of Research in the Centre for Sport Research in the Chelsea School at the University of Brighton. He studied humanities and the sociology of literature at the University of Kent, and took an MA and a DPhil (Sociological Studies) at the University of Sussex. At both those universities he captained the soccer First XIs, and is also a qualified soccer referee and FA (Football Association) coach.
Tomlinson has been a pioneer of the critical social scientific study of sport, and is the author of numerous books on sport, leisure and consumption, including Consumption, Identity and Style, Sport and Leisure Cultures, A Dictionary of Sports Studies and The World Atlas of Sport. He has done investigative research into the power structures and ideological rhetoric of the powerbrokers of world sport, and written for many years on the politics of world football and the Olympics.
At the University of Brighton he supervises doctoral students and teaches methodology and theory on Masters programmes, as well as an advanced undergraduate option on Sport Fictions and Biographies. He is Deputy Chair of the University’s Research Degrees Committee.
Tomlinson has written on sport cultures and politics for the Financial Times, New Statesman, When Saturday Comes, Gulf News, and Der Taggesspiegel. He has contributed to the discussion and coverage of sport on BBC Radio 4 (Start the Week, Thinking Allowed, Woman’s Hour, The Today Programme, PM), BBC Radio 3’s Night Waves, BBC Television’s Panorama, BBC World’s Sportstalk, and made numerous contributions to BBC World Service. He has also appeared on Radio Vienna, New York Public Radio, and Canadian and Australian national radio.
He lives in Brighton, though he was born in Burnley, Lancashire, and continues to follow the fortunes of Burnley Football Club.