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James Nazroo


Personal profile


I joined Sociology at the University of Manchester in October 2006 and took up the position of Director of the Cathy Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research in April 2010.

My interest in Sociology began while I was studying Medicine at St. George's Hospital Medical School in the early 1980s, when I became aware of a range of sociological inquiries into health and the health professions that problematised much that we take for granted - for example, work on the sick role, inequalities in health, occupational closure and professionalisation, and deviance, stigma and institutions. At that time the London Medical Schools offered an intercalated BSc in Medical Sociology, which I took and which hooked me on Sociology. After completing my medical training, I began my post-graduate training in Sociology, first studying on the Royal Holloway and Bedford New College MSc in Sociology of Health and Illness (while working part-time as a hospital doctor) and then a PhD in Sociology at UCL (while working as a researcher/lecturer).

Before coming to Manchester, I was a Research Fellow in the Department of Social Policy and Social Sciences at Royal Holloway - where I worked primarily on gender inequalities in mental health, and also on marital violence - a Research Fellow/Senior Research Fellow at the Policy Studies Institute - where I worked primarily on ethnic inequalities in health - and more recently a Senior Lecturer, Reader and then Professor of Medical Sociology in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at UCL - where I was head of the Health and Social Surveys Research Group and continued my research on ethnic inequalities in health, alongside a growing body of research on ageing. I continue to hold an honorary position at UCL.

Research interests

Research interests

Issues of inequality, social justice and underlying processes of stratification have been the primary focus of his research activities, which have centred on gender, ethnicity, ageing, and the intersections between these. His research on ageing has been concerned to understand the patterns and determinants of social and health inequalities in ageing populations, with a particular interest on the ‘transmission’ of inequalities across the lifecourse, patterns of ‘retirement’, formal and informal social and civic participation, and how class operates post-retirement. He has conducted studies on quality of life for older people among different ethnic groups in the UK, on inequalities in health at older ages, and on routes into retirement and the impact of retirement on health and well-being. He is PI of the fRaill programme, an interdisciplinary study of inequalities in later life, and co-PI of the English Longitudinal Study of Aging, which is a multi-disciplinary panel study of those aged 50 and older, and part of an international ‘family’ of very similar studies.

A second theme of his work is concerned with ethnic inequalities in health. His research on this began with describing differences in health across and within broad ethnic groupings and assessing the contribution that social disadvantage might make to these differences. Central to this has been developing an understanding of the links between ethnicity, racism, class and inequality. This work has covered a variety of elements of social disadvantage, including socioeconomic position, racial discrimination and harassment, and ecological effects. It also covers a variety of health outcomes, including general health, mental health, cardiovascular disease and sexual health. He is Director of the ESRC Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE), which focuses on understanding changing patterns of inequality and identity. For both his work on ageing and his work on ethnicity he has taken an increasing focus on comparative analysis (across groups, time and place) to investigate underlying processes, involving collaborations with colleagues in the US, Canada, Europe and New Zealand – as well as the UK.

My currently funded projects include, among others:

  • Synergi Collaborative Center (co-PI)
  • ESRC Research Centre on Dynamics of Ethnicity (CoDE) (PI)
  • Inequalities in later life frailty and wellbeing (fRaill), Lifelong Health and Wellbeing Programme (PI)
  • English Longitudinal Study of Ageing, NIA and UK Government (co-PI)
  • Socio-economic determinants and health inequalities over the life course, Australian Research Council (co-I)


Postgraduate Opportunities

Supervision areas

I currently supervise, or co-supervise, eight students and I have supervised more than ten students to completion. I would be happy to hear from potential research students wanting to work on topics relating to my research interests, particularly those who would like to undertake research related to the fRaill and CoDE projects (see Research Interests).

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Global inequalities
  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Cathie Marsh Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing
  • Creative Manchester
  • Healthier Futures


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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