Nadim Mirshak

Nadim Mirshak


  • Lecturer in Sociology and Deputy Head of Department, Sociology

Accepting PhD Students

Personal profile


I completed my PhD in Politics from The University of Manchester before joining as a Lecturer in Sociology in 2017. I am particularly interested in political sociology, critical pedagogy, social movements, state-society relations under authoritarian contexts, and Gramscian readings of the Middle East. Some of my work has been published in Social Movement Studies, Critical Sociology, Current Sociology, Power and Education and Open Democracy. I am currently working on my first monograph Rethinking Resistance Under Authoritarian Settings: Gramsci and Education in Egypt to be published with Routledge.

Research interests

As a political sociologist, I have a number of research interests ranging from education, authoritarianism and resistance in the Middle East and North Africa, especially Egypt, to examining Rugby League as a working-class ‘rebel’ sport in the North of England.

Under the first trajectory, my research explored how education comprised a method of resistance under authoritarian contexts. Through utilising a Gramscian framework, I investigated the multifarious methods adopted and adapted by Egyptian oppositional forces to function, survive, and educate under ever-increasing state repression after the uprisings of 2011. Additionally, I focused on how the Egyptian formal education system played an important, yet underwhelming political socialisation role under the regimes of Gamal Abdel Nasser, Anwar Sadat, and Hosni Mubarak. As a result, I argued for the need to view formal education as a politicised aspect of contemporary society. My arguments were underpinned by the theories of Antonio Gramsci where I was interested in understanding their capacity to ‘travel’ to Global South contexts without losing their critical and analytical vigour. The four articles published in Social Movement Studies, Critical Sociology, Current Sociology and Power and Education offer a more detailed elaboration of my theoretical and methodological approaches, as well as the arguments developed as a result.

My current research project, entitled Rugby League: A Rebel Sport in Uncertain Times, focuses on Rugby League, class, and communities in Northern England against the backdrop of Brexit and the 2019 General Elections. Rugby League has historically been intertwined with the social, economic, political, and cultural fabric of many communities in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cumbria which have become increasingly affected by deindustrialisation and austerity.

Rugby League has been historically viewed as a ‘rebel’ sport, operating outside the establishment and with its own traditions of equality and democracy. I aim to interrogate this further by understanding whether its historic drive for inclusivity, equality, and democracy still shapes it and its communities today. In other words, can Rugby League offer a lens to explore undergoing changes in working-class identities, communal ties, and what it means to protest inequalities in contemporary Britain? Such questions are pertinent given the strong Brexit vote that characterised Rugby League’s heartlands in the North, as well as the recent fall of the so-called ‘red wall’ constituencies in the 2019 General Elections.

I am also working on a project entitled Performative Masculinities and Imagined, Imaginary Communities: The Politics of Rugby League Fan Spaces alongside Prof Karl Spracklen from Leeds Beckett University, where we aim to explore how male Rugby League fans talk about the game, about their community, and about ‘being a man’ in the Goffmanesque performative space of the terrace. The results of our research will help contribute to the Rugby Football League’s (RFL) ‘Enjoy the Game’ campaign.


I convene the following modules (2022/23):

  • SOCY10401 Inequalities in Contemporary British Society (UG)
  • SOCY20052 Education and Society (UG)

I am the recepient of the Faculty of Humanities' Outstanding Teaching Award and Outstanding UG Dissertation Supervisor Award.

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 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Politics, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 21 Sept 2017

Master of Science, The University of Manchester

Award Date: 14 Dec 2010

Bachelor of Science, German University in Cairo

Award Date: 29 Oct 2009

Areas of expertise

  • HM Sociology
  • authoritarianism
  • sociology of education
  • political sociology
  • state-civil society relations
  • social movements
  • rugby league
  • sociology of sport


Dive into the research topics where Nadim Mirshak is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles