Dr Peter Marsh

Peter Marsh is a Chartered Psychologist and Co-director of The Social Issues Research Centre. He studied at Ruskin College Oxford, where he obtained a Diploma in Social Studies, and subsequently at University College, Oxford where he gained his degree and doctorate in psychology. Peter is still known for his early work on football hooliganism, conducted in the late 1970s and early 1980s. His first book, Rules of Disorder, published in 1978, is still a set text on the subject. His most recent book, co-authoured with Steve Frosdick and published in 2005, is Football Hooliganism.

Other related work has been in the field of problems in pubs and clubs and the connections between drinking and disorder, begun in 1977 when he was Co-Director of the Contemporary Violence Research Centre in Oxford University. Recommendations from a major study Drinking and Public Disorder were included in the government White Paper that led to the new Licensing Act with its emphasis on later opening times. Other work on aspects of aggression and violence has included research with youth gangs in New York and Chicago and with youth groups in France and Italy.

Peter’s other main research interests have been in the field of non-verbal behaviour, leading to a number of books. Gestures, written with Desmond Morris and others, won a Choice ‘academic book of the year’ award in the United States. Books such as Eye to Eye (Book of the Month Club in the USA) and Tribes were the subject of extensive promotional tours in the UK and USA. A more recent ‘popular’ book, Lifestyles, is concerned with people’s relationship to their homes and their environments. Other works include Aggro: The illusion of violence and Aggression and Violence (with Anne Campbell).

A further, continuing research interest is in the role of the motorcar and driving behaviour. With Peter Collett he is the author of Driving Passion: The psychology of the car.

In 1997 Peter co-founded the Social Issues Research Centre with Kate Fox. This not-for-profit organisation is primarily concerned with positive aspects of lifestyles and social behaviour. With his colleagues, Peter has recently conducted work commissioned by the European Commission on the communication of scientific information and advice through the popular media. He has also recently published a number of articles on topic of obesity and related health issues — a continuing area of research at SIRC.

 Related Sessions

Sunday 2 November 2008, 10.00am Café
You’re not singing anymore!

Sunday 2 November 2008, 2.00pm Lecture Theatre 1
Boozy Britain

 Festival Buzz

"Taking part in the Battle of Ideas is like putting your brain in a pencil sharpener. It works better as a result."
George Brock, Saturday Editor, The Times