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Victoria Robinson
Emeritus Professor



BA Modern English Studies (Middlesex Polytechnic), MA Women’s Studies (Sheffield Hallam Polytechnic), PGCE (University of Roehampton), PhD Sociology (University of Manchester).

In 1984, whilst a student on the MA Women’s Studies at Sheffield Hallam University (the second such programme in the UK, after the University of Kent), I approached what was then the Adult Continuing Education Department at the University of Sheffield, offering classes in Women’s Studies, to which the response was that such a class would not be viable in attracting students. I returned in 1985 and persuaded the University to put on just one course, to which around 60 students came, on the first night. My own institutional and theoretical history, then and now, coincided with what can only be termed one of the most radical epistemological and methodological transformations of academia nationally and internationally, not least because of Women’s Studies’ activist roots, and the subsequent developments of Gender and Masculinity Studies.

In the early 1990’s, I was responsible for setting up one of the first degrees in Women’s Studies in the UK, at the University of Sheffield. In 1999, I moved to the University of Manchester, where I was Lecturer in Sociology/Director of the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies till 2002, then became Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Newcastle, and after that, returned in 2004 to the University of Sheffield eventually becoming Reader and Director of the Centre for Gender Research, which I co-founded. I was appointed as Professor of Sociology and Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York, from 2016-2021. My PhD, awarded by the Department of Sociology, University of Manchester and entitled: ‘Everyday Heterosexualities and Everyday Masculinities’, informed much of my research interests over time. Fundamental to all my research is a critical engagement with feminist theory and method underpinned by a way of working with staff and students which is both feminist and collaborative.


Selected publications


I have written or edited nine books. I am joint editor, with Emeritus Professor Diane Richardson, University of Newcastle, of Introducing Gender and Women’s Studies (5th edition, 2020, Palgrave Macmillan), the most successful textbook in the UK in the field, and a leading British textbook in Europe and the US.

I am also co-editor with Diane Richardson, of Palgrave Macmillan’s international book series ‘Genders and Sexualities in the Social Sciences’:

Other Books:

Robinson, V. (2013) Rock Climbing. (International Series on Extreme Sports, D. Booth, University of Otago, New Zealand and H. Thorpe, University of Waikato, New Zealand, series editors) Connecticut: Greenwood Press, pp.165.

Robinson, V. and Hockey, J. (2011) Masculinities in Transition. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 221.

Robinson, V. (2008) Everyday Masculinities and Extreme Sport: Male Identity and Rock Climbing. Oxford: Berg, pp. 183.

Hockey, J., Meah, A. and Robinson, V. (2007) Mundane Heterosexualities: From Theory to Practices. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.206.

Journal Articles:

Nicholls, E.Robinson, V., Farndon, L. and Vernon, W. (2021) “You don’t like to tell them their job but it’s your foot at the end of the day”: theorising and negotiating ‘resistance’ in clinical encounters, Social Theory and Health 19 (4), pp. 246-262

 Robinson, V. (2019) ‘Men’s Embodied Occupational Narratives-An Empirical Study Re-visited’, in W. Erhart and Stefan Hortacher (eds) Internationales Archiv für Sozialgeschichte der Literatur, 43 (2)

Nicholls, E., Robinson, V., Farndon, L. and Vernon, W. (2018) 'A good fit?' Bringing the Sociology of Footwear to the Clinical Encounter in Podiatry Services, Journal of Foot and Ankle Research, 9 (11), DOI 10.1186/s13047-018-0253-6

Robinson V. (2017) 'Feminism in the academy and beyond' in V. Robinson (ed.) Special issue of Discover Society, ‘Feminism in the Academy and Beyond’, 

Robinson, V. (2017) ‘The accomplishment of happiness: Feminism, pleasure, heterosexuality and consumption’, Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 26, no.1, pp. 13-22

Farndon L., Robinson, V., Nicholls, L., and Vernon, W. (2016) If the Shoe Fits: Development of an on-line tool to aid practitioner/patient discussions about 'healthy footwear', Journal of Footand Ankle Research, vol. 9, no. 17, DOI: 10.1186/s13047-016-0149

Robinson, V. (2015) ‘Reconceptualising the mundane and the extraordinary: A lens through which to explore transformation within women’s everyday footwear practices’, Sociology, vol. 49, no.5, pp. 903-918.

Dilley, R., Hockey, J., Robinson, V. and Sherlock, A. (2015) '‘‘There’s not just trainers or non-trainers, there’s like degrees of trainers’: Commoditisation, singularisation and identity’, Journal of Material Culture, vol. 20, no. 1, pp.21-42

Dilley, R., Hockey, J., Robinson, V. and Sherlock, A. (2015) ‘Occasions and non-occasions: Identity, femininity and high-heeled shoes’, European Journal of Women's Studies, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 143-58

Robinson, V. (2014) 'Risky footwear practices: Masculinity, identity and crisis', NORMA: International Journal of Masculinity Studies, vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 1-15, doi:10.1080/18902138.2014.950501

Hockey, J., Dilley, R., Robinson, V. and Sherlock, A. (2014) ‘The temporal landscape of shoes: a life course perspective’, The Sociological Review, vol. 62, no. 2, pp. 255–275

Camoletto, R., Espinosa, A., Robinson,V. and Ruspini, E. (2013) ‘Perspectives on Gender Studies in Europe’, Rivista internazionale di studi di genere, vol. 2, no.4, pp. 231-252-J (Re-printed in special issue ‘Global Future Perspectives in Gender Studies in Europe’, in 2015.)

Dilley, R., Hockey, J., Robinson, V. and Sherlock, A. (2013) ‘Worn Shoes: Identity, Memory and Footwear’, Sociological Research Online, vol. 18, no.1, (On British Sociological Association short list for best journal article published 2013.)

Robinson, V., Hall, A. and Hockey, J. (2011) ‘Masculinities, Sexualities and the Limits of Subversion: Being a Man in Hairdressing’, Journal of Men and Masculinities, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 31-50

Meah, A., Hockey, J. and Robinson, V. (2011) ‘’’I’m a sex kitten, aren't I...": Relocating Agency and Pleasure in Older Women's Narratives About Sex’, Journal of Australian Feminist Studies, vol. 26, no. 67, pp. 57-71

Robinson, V. (2010) ‘Researching everyday sporting masculinities: Thoughts from a (critical) distance’, Journal of Gender Studies, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 309-313

Contact details

Professor Victoria Robinson
Emeritus Professor
Centre for Women's Studies
University of York