Dr James Rosbrook-Thompson

Senior Lecturer, Sociology

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

School:Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Sociology

Research Supervision:Yes

James is a sociologist whose research interests include 'race' and ethnicity; urban sociology; delinquency and disorder; the sociology of sport; and cosmopolitanism and notions of belonging.

Email: james.rosbrook-thompson@aru.ac.uk


James joined Anglia Ruskin University in 2012 after completing his PhD at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His teaching specialisms include the sociology of 'race' and race-thinking; the sociology of globalisation; the sociology of education; and the ethnographic method.

James has authored a number articles in the areas of sociology and the sociology of sport. His first book, Sport, Difference and Belonging: Conceptions of Human Variation in British Sport, was published by Routledge in late 2012.

Research interests

  • ‘Race’ and race-thinking
  • Urban sociology
  • Delinquency and disorder
  • Cosmopolitanism and notions of belonging
  • The sociology of sport

Areas of research supervision

  • National identity in Australia
  • An ethnographic study of British rowing


  • BSc, Brunel
  • MA, London
  • PhD, London
  • PGCert, Anglia Ruskin

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, Higher Education Academy (HEA)
  • Member, the British Sociological Association (BSA)

Selected recent publications


Rosbrook-Thompson, J. & Armstrong, G. (Forthcoming) An Ethnography of a Mixed-Occupancy Housing Estate: The many faces of Lashall Green. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2012) Sport, Difference and Belonging: Conceptions of human variation in British sport. London: Routledge.

Journal articles:

Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2016) ‘Understanding Difference amid Superdiversity: Space, ‘Race’ and Granular Essentialisms at an Inner-city Football Club’. Sociology (online first). London: Sage.

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2016) ‘Faith, Space and Selfhood in East London ‘Youth Gang’ Culture’. Urbanities: Journal of Urban Ethnography, 6(2): 18–38. London: IUS.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2015) ‘’I’m Local and Foreign’: Belonging, the City and the Case for Denizenship.’ Urban Studies, 52(9): 1615–1630. London: Sage. (One of five papers shortlisted for the Urban Studies ‘Best Article’ award.)

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2013) ‘The role of sport in soft power projection.’ The Journal of the International Centre for Sport Security, 1(3). London: Newsdesk.

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2012) 'Terrorizing Defences: Sport in the Liberian civil conflict.' International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 47: 358–378. London: Sage.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J. & Armstrong, G. & Skinner, T. (2010) 'Fields and Visions: Ghanaian Soccer and the 'African Personality''. Du Bois Review. 7(2): 73–95. Cambridge, Mass: Cambridge University Press.

Armstrong, G. & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2010) 'Warriors and Good Hope: The Pioneering Football Franchise of Ajax Cape Town.' Politique Africaine, 118: 43–62. Paris: Karthala.

Armstrong, G. & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2010) 'Coming to America: Historical Ontologies and US Soccer.' Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power. 17(4): 348–371. London: Taylor Francis.

Book chapters:

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (Forthcoming) ‘Ethnography in ‘the Ends’: Conducting Fieldwork in a ‘Superdiverse’ London Housing Estate’. In Pardo, I. & Prato, G. (Eds.) The Palgrave Handbook on Urban Ethnography. London and Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2016) ‘Bred and Meet: Gangs and God in East London’. In Antonopoulos, G. A. (Ed.) Illegal Entrepreneurship, Organized Crime and Social Control: Essays in Honor of Professor Dick Hobbs. New York: Springer.

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2016) ‘Football Hooliganism.’ In Stone, J. (Ed.) The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopaedia of Race, Nationalism and Ethnicity. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2013) 'Managing Urban Disorder? 'The Street' and its Malcontents in the London Borough of Camden.' In Dyck, N. (Ed.) Young Men in Uncertain Times. Oxford & New York: Berghahn.

Armstrong, G & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2011) 'Football Policy and Paranoia in 'Post-conflict' Liberia, West Africa.' In Cereijo-Roibás, A., Stamatakis, E. & Black, K. (Eds.) Design for Sport. London: Gower.

Recent presentations and conferences

Armstrong, G., Hobbs, R. & Rosbrook-Thompson, J. (2016) ‘Transitions and Interventions: Lithuanians in East London’. Paper presented to Workshop on European migrants in the UK and Ireland, University College London (UCL), London, 14 May.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2015 ‘Mixed Metaphors: Understanding Mixedness amid Superdiversity’. Paper presented to Annual Conference of the British Sociological Association, Glasgow, Scotland, 15–17 April.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2014 ‘’I’m Local and Foreign’: Belonging, the City and the Case for Denizenship’. Paper presented to Aliens, Strangers and Foreigners: A Diversity and Recognition Project, Interdisciplinary.net, Prague, Czech Republic, 1-3 November.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2014. Mixed Metaphors: ‘Multi-Racial’ Identity in Youth Soccer. Paper presented at British Sociological Association Race and Ethnicity Study Group Conference on Contemporary Theories of Race, Racism and Ethnicity, Birmingham, 31 January 2014.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2013. I’m Local and Foreign’: Belonging, the City and the Case for Denizenship. Paper presented to Austerity and Crisis: Managing in the Global Economy, Cardiff University, 9-10 September 2013.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2013. Instinct, Industry and Imperialism: The History of the ‘Impulsive’ Black Sportsman. Paper presented to the Arts, Law and Social Sciences Faculty Seminar, Anglia Ruskin University, 13 March 2013.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2010. Instinct, Industry and Imperialism: The History of the ‘Impulsive’ Black Sportsman. Paper presented to Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science (ECSS), Antalya, Turkey, 23-26 June 2010.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2008. Global Franchise, Local Resistance: The Story of Ajax Cape Town. Paper presented to Inaugural Conference of ‘Is Football the New Slavery?’, London South Bank University in conjunction with Let’s Kick Racism Out of Football, 20-21 September 2008.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2007. Understanding the implications of the world’s first football franchise. Paper presented to Fourth Conference of the European Association for the Sociology of Sport (EASS), Munster, Germany, 1-3 June 2007.

Rosbrook-Thompson, J., 2006. Warriors and Good Hope: The Pioneering Football Franchise of Ajax Cape Town. Paper presented to Sport and Development International Conference, Swiss Academy for Development in conjunction with United Nations, Cape Town, South Africa, 20-23 March 2006.