Dr. Lee F. Monaghan

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Monaghan, Lee F.BSc in Sociology (University of Salford)
PhD in Sociology and Diploma in Social Science Research Methods (University of Cardiff)

Senior Lecturer in Sociology 

Office Hours Autumn 2014: Monday 10.00-11.00am, and 2.30-4.30pm @ F1006 or by appointment at lee.monaghan@ul.ie 

Biographical Details:

Lee received his BSc with first class honours in Sociology at Salford University, before obtaining a PhD at Cardiff University in 1998. Lee was at Cardiff for nine years, combining research and lecturing at Cardiff University and the University of Wales, College of Medicine before accepting a Sociology lecturership at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2002. He then accepted a post at the Department of Sociology, University of Limerick, in 2005.


Lee has written two monographs: Men and the War on Obesity (2008) and Bodybuilding, Drugs and Risk (2001), both published by Routledge. His third monograph is in press: Challenging Masculinity Myths: Understanding Physical Cultures (2014, Ashgate, co-authored with Prof. Michael Atkinson). 


Lee co-edited Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives (2011, Palgrave; with Dr. Emma Rich and Dr. Lucy Aphramor); and Key Concepts in Medical Sociology (2nd. ed., 2013, Sage; with Prof. Jonathan Gabe). A third edited collection is due to be published: Obesity Discourse and Fat Politics: Research, Critique and Interventions (2014, Routledge; with Dr. Rachel Colls and Dr. Bethan Evans).

Outside of writing, Lee enjoys going to the gym, gardening and playing the guitar.

My work has included ethnographic and other qualitative methods to explore issues relating to the sociology of the body (e.g. the obesity debate, bodybuilding and steroids), risk, gender, sexualities, neoliberalisation, health and illness. 

My research interests are eclectic and constantly developing. For example, given the current global economic crisis I am particularly focused on critiques of neoliberalisation and capitalist accumulation through debt expansion (with Micheal O'Flynn). We are developing our ideas in relation to what we call 'the Madoffization of society'; Madoffization is a neologism, with the Bernie Madoff case ($65 billion ponzi scheme) serving as our initial source of inspiration (see my recent publications). Madoffization entails mass deception, efforts to maintain secrecy and silence, obfuscation and scapegoating. Whether discussing Ireland's economic crisis, the US subprime crisis or forms of protest, we would argue that Madoffization offers a useful way of conceptualising the public issues and private troubles of late capitalism.

Outside of the Madoffization study, much of my published research to date has explored the multi-dimensional body as lived, experienced and understood in various social contexts. These 'studies in embodied sociology' were grounded in particular substantive areas and cultural domains, such as the gym, the nighttime economy (specifically, the occupational culture of door supervisors or 'bouncers'), and a mixed sex-slimming club. More formally and generally, that research advances the case for an embodied sociology, complementing and extending theoretical calls to take bodies seriously.

Other recent research includes a qualitative study of (1) childhood asthma (2) male heterosexualities and (3) financial activism, notably how people seek to monetise their dissent and resist global neoliberalisation. The latter study also advances the case for public sociology in 'crisis' times.  

I am particularly interested in supervising PhD students with a research interest in 'the sociology of the body/embodiment' and other issues that I have published on.

Most of my current teaching is on The Sociology of Health & Illness and Social Theory. I have also taught undergraduate modules on The Sociology of Risk, The Sociology of the Body/Embodiment, Studying Social Problems and Qualitative Research Methods.

I am currently supervising the following PhD student:

Phil Noone (study of ageing in the community) 

Another student, Charlotte Cooper, received her PhD under my supervision in 2013 (a study of fat activist communities) and was the first ISSP student to graduate. 

I am particularly interested in supervising PhD students undertaking qualitative research on topics that I have recognised research expertise, such as the social meanings of the body/embodiment and risk (e.g. bodyweight or fatness and the obesity debate, illicit drug use, violence, sexualities, bodybuilding). 

Selected Publications


Monaghan, L.F. (2001) Bodybuilding, Drugs and Risk. London: Routledge. (Nominated for the 2002 British Sociological Association Philip Abrams Memorial Prize.)

Monaghan, L.F. (2008) Men and the War on Obesity: A Sociological Study. Oxon and New York: Routledge.

Rich, E., Monaghan, L.F. and Aphramor, L. (eds) (2011) Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Gabe, J. and Monaghan, L.F. (eds.) (2013) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology, 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Monaghan, L.F. and Atkinson, M. (2014) Challenging Myths of Masculinity: Understanding Physical Cultures. Aldershot: Ashgate. 

Monaghan, L.F., Colls, R. and Evans, B. (eds.) (2014) Obesity Discourse and Fat Politics: Research, Critique and Interventions. New York: Routledge.

Refereed Journal Articles

Monaghan, L.F. (2014) Civilising Recalcitrant Boys' Bodies: Pursuing Social Fitness through the Anti-Obesity Offensive. Sport, Education & Society 19 (6): 691-711.

Monaghan, L.F. (2014) Debating, Theorising and Researching 'Obesity' in Challenging Times. Social Theory & Health: Inaugural Virtual Special Issue on Obesity.

O'Flynn, M., Monaghan, L.F. and Power. M (2014, forthcoming) Scapegoating During a Time of Crisis: A Critique of Post 'Celtic Tiger' Ireland. Sociology; special issue on the global economic crisis.

Monaghan, L.F. and O'Flynn, M. (2013) The Madoffization of Society: A Corrosive Process in an Age of Fictitous Capital. Critical Sociology 39 (6): 869-87. (An earlier version is freely available via the UL institutional repository.)

Monaghan, L.F. and Malson, H. (2013) 'It's Worse for Women and Girls': Negotiating Embodied Masculinities through Weight-Related Talk. Critical Public Health. Special Issue on Obesity Discourse and Fat Politics: Research, Critique and Interventions, 23 (3): 304-319. 

Monaghan, L.F., Colls, R. and Evans, B. (2013) Obesity Discourse and Fat Politics: Research, Critique and Interventions. Critical Public Health 23 (3): 249-62. 

Monaghan, L.F. (2013) Extending the Obesity Debate, Repudiating Misrecognition:Politicising Fatness and Health (Practice). Social Theory & Health 11 (1): 81-105.

Monaghan, L.F., O’Dwyer, M. and Gabe, J. (2013) Seeking University Research Ethics Committee Approval: The Emotional Vicissitudes of a ‘Rationalised’ Process. International Journal of Social Research Methodology 16 (1): 65-80. 

Monaghan, L.F. and O'Flynn, M. (2012) More than Anarchy in the UK: 'Social Unrest' and its Resurgence in the Madoffized Society. Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 9: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/17/1/9.html  

Monaghan, L.F. and Robertson, S. (2012) Embodied Heterosexual Masculinities, Part 1: Confluent Intimacies, Emotions and Health. Sociology Compass 6 (2): 134-50. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00447.x/abstract>

Robertson, S. and Monaghan, L.F. (2012) Embodied Heterosexual Masculinities, Part 2: Foregrounding Men’s Health and Emotions. Sociology Compass 6 (2): 151-65. <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1751-9020.2011.00443.x/abstract>

Monaghan, L.F. (2011) Post 'Celtic Tiger' Ireland, Silver Vigilantes and Public Sociology: Protesting Against Global Neoliberalisation. Sociological Research Online 16 (3) 5 <www.socresonline.org.uk/16/3/5.html>

Monaghan, L.F. (2010) ‘Physician Heal Thyself’ Part 1: A Qualitative Analysis of a Medscape Debate on Clinicians’ Bodyweight. Social Theory & Health 8 (1): 1-27.

Monaghan, L.F. (2010) ‘Physician Heal Thyself’ Part 2: Debating Clinicians’ Bodyweight. Social Theory & Health 8 (1): 28-50.

Monaghan, L.F., Hollands, R. and Pritchard, G. (2010) Obesity Epidemic Entrepreneurs: Types, Interests and Practices. Body & Society 16 (2): 37-71.

Roussel, P., Monaghan, L.F., Javerlhiac, S. and Le Yondre, F. (2010) Commentary: The Metamorphosis of the Female Bodybuilder: Judging a Paroxysmal Body? International Review for the Sociology of Sport. 45 (1): 103-9.

Monaghan, L.F. (2009) Commentary on Kanayama et al.: The Normalization of Steroid Use. Addiction 104: 1979-80.

Monaghan, L.F. and Hardey, M. (2009) Bodily Sensibility: Vocabularies of the Discredited Male Body. Critical Public Health. Special Issue: Men’s Health: Practice, Policy, Research and Theory 19 (3-4): 341-62. Also revised and reprinted in E. Rich, L.F. Monaghan and L. Aphramor (eds.) (2010) Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Monaghan, L.F. (2008) Men, Physical Activity and the Obesity Discourse: Critical Understandings from a Qualitative Study. Sociology of Sport Journal: Special Issue on the Social Construction of Fat 25, 1: 97-128.

Monaghan, L.F. (2007) McDonaldizing Men’s Bodies? Slimming, Associated (Ir)Rationalities and Resistances. Body & Society 13, 2: 67-93. Also reprinted in G. Ritzer (ed.) (2010) McDonaldization: The Reader (3rd edition). California: Pine Forge Press & Sage.

Monaghan, L.F. (2007) Body Mass Index, Masculinities and Moral Worth: Men’s Critical Talk about ‘Appropriate’ Weight-for-Height. Sociology of Health & Illness 29, 4: 584–609.

Monaghan, L.F. (2006) Weighty Words: Expanding and Embodying the Accounts Framework. Social Theory & Health 4, 2: 128-67.

Monaghan, L.F. (2005) Discussion Piece: A Critical Take on the Obesity Debate. Social Theory & Health 3, 4: 302-14.

Monaghan, L.F. (2005) Big Handsome Men, Bears and Others: Virtual Constructions of ‘Fat Male Embodiment’. Body & Society 11, 2: 81-111. Also reprinted in C. Malacrida and J. Low (2008) Sociology of the Body: A Reader. Oxford University Press.

Monaghan, L.F. (2004) Doorwork and Legal Risk: Observations from an Embodied Ethnography. Social and Legal Studies 13, 4: 453-80. Also reprinted in E. Darian-Smith (ed.) (2007) The International Library of Essays in Law and Society: Ethnography and Law. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Monaghan, L.F. (2003) Danger on the Doors: Bodily Risk in a Demonised Occupation. Health, Risk & Society 5, 1: 11-31.

Monaghan, L.F. (2002) Hard Men, Shop Boys and Others: Embodying Competence in a Masculinist Occupation. The Sociological Review 50, 3: 334-55. Also reprinted in S. Tomsen (ed.) (2008) Crime, Criminal Justice and Masculinities. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Monaghan, L.F. (2002) Embodying Gender, Work and Organization: Solidarity, Cool Loyalties and Contested Hierarchy in a Masculinist Occupation. Gender, Work & Organization: Special Issue – Rethinking Gender, Work & Organization 9, 5: 504-36.

Monaghan, L.F. (2002) Vocabularies of Motive for Illicit Steroid Use Among Bodybuilders. Social Science & Medicine 55, 5: 695-708.

Monaghan, L.F. (2002) Regulating ‘Unruly’ Bodies: Work Tasks, Conflict and Violence in Britain’s Night-Time Economy. The British Journal of Sociology 53, 3: 403-29. Also reprinted in Richard E. Ocejo (ed.) (forthcoming, 2012) Ethnography and the City: Readings on Doing Urban Ethnography. Routledge.

Monaghan, L.F. (2002) Opportunity, Pleasure and Risk: An Ethnography of Urban Male Heterosexualities. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 31, 4: 440-77.

Monaghan, L.F. (2001) Looking Good, Feeling Good: The Embodied Pleasures of Vibrant Physicality. Sociology of Health & Illness 23, 3: 330-56.

Monaghan, L., Bloor, M., Dobash, R.P. and Dobash, R.E. (2000) Drug-Taking, ‘Risk Boundaries’ and Social Identity: Bodybuilders’ Talk about Ephedrine and Nubain. Sociological Research Online 5, 2. <http://www.socresonline.org.uk/5/2/monaghan.html>

Monaghan, L. (1999) Creating ‘The Perfect Body’: A Variable Project. Body & Society 5, 2-3: 267-90. Also reprinted in M. Featherstone (ed.) (2000) Body Modification. London: Sage.

Monaghan, L. (1999) Challenging Medicine? Bodybuilding, Drugs and Risk. Sociology of Health & Illness 21, 6: 707-34.


Book Chapters

Monaghan, L.F. (2014) Bodybuilding and Sexuality. In P.E. Whelehan and A. Bolin (eds.) The Encyclopaedia of Human Sexuality. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Monaghan, L.F. (2014) Researching Bodybuilding, Drugs and Risk: Reflections on an Ethnographic Study. In A. Smith and I. Waddington (eds.) Doing Real World Research in Sports Studies. New York: Routledge. 

Monaghan, L.F. (2013) Illness and Health-Related Behaviour. In J. Gabe and L.F. Monaghan (eds.) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Monaghan, L.F. (2013) Awareness Contexts. In J. Gabe and L.F. Monaghan (eds.) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Monaghan, L.F. and S.J.Williams (2013) Stigma. In J. Gabe and L.F. Monaghan (eds.) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Bury, M. and Monaghan, L.F. (2013) The Sick Role. In J. Gabe and L.F. Monaghan (eds.) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Bury, M. and Monaghan, L.F. (2013) Illness Narratives. In J. Gabe and L.F. Monaghan (eds.) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

S.J.Williams and Monaghan, L.F. (2013) Embodiment. In J. Gabe and L.F. Monaghan (eds.) Key Concepts in Medical Sociology. 2nd edition. London: Sage.

Monaghan, L.F. (2011) Accounting for Illict Steroid Use: Bodybuilders' Justifications. In  A. Locks and N. Richardson (eds.) Critical Readings in Bodybuilding. Routledge.

Rich, E., Monaghan, L.F. and Aphramor, L. (2011) Contesting Obesity Discourse and Presenting an Alternative. In E. Rich, L. Monaghan and L. Aphramor (eds.) Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

Monaghan, L.F., Rich, E. and Aphramor, L. (2011) Reflections on and Developing Critical Weight Studies.  In E. Rich, L. Monaghan and L. Aphramor (ed.) Debating Obesity: Critical Perspectives. New York: Palgrave MacMillian.

Monaghan, L.F. (2006) Corporeal Indeterminacy: The Value of Embodied, Interpretive Sociology. In D. Waskul and V. Vannini (ed.) Body/Embodiment: Symbolic Interactionism and the Sociology of the Body. Aldershot : Ashgate.

Monaghan, L.F. (2006) Fieldwork and the Body: Reflections on an Embodied Ethnography. In D.Hobbs and R.Wright (eds.) The Sage Handbook of Fieldwork. London: Sage.

Monaghan, L.F. (2003) Hormonal Bodies, Civilised Bodies: Incorporating the Biological into the Sociology of Health. In S. Williams, L. Birke and G. Bendelow (eds.), Debating Biology: Sociological Reflections on Health, Medicine and Society. London:Routledge.
Monaghan, L.F. (2001) The Bodybuilding Ethnophysiology Thesis. In N. Watson (ed.) Reframing the Body. Hampshire:Palgrave.
Dobash, R.P., Monaghan, L., Dobash, R.E. and Bloor, M. (1999) Bodybuilding, Steroids and Violence: Is There a Connection? In P. Carlen and R. Morgan (eds.) Crime Unlimited: Questions for the 21st Century. London: Macmillan.

Monaghan, L.F (1999) Accessing a Demonised Subculture: Studying Drug Use and Violence among Bodybuilders. In L. Noakes, E. Wincup and F. Brookman (eds.) Qualitative Research in Criminology. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Bloor, M., Monaghan, L., Dobash, R.P. and Dobash, R.E. (1998) The Body as a Chemistry Experiment: Steroid Use Among South Wales Bodybuilders. In S. Nettleton and J. Watson (eds.) The Body In Everyday Life. London: Routledge. (With Bloor, M., Dobash, R.P. and Dobash, R.E.)

Monaghan, L., Bloor, M., Dobash, R.P. and Dobash, R.E. (1998) Bodybuilding and Sexual Attractiveness. In J. Richardson and A. Shaw (eds.) The Body in Qualitative Research. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Other Publications and Reports (2000 onwards)

(2008) Men and the Obesity Epidemic: Promoting Healthy Scepticism. Fare Choice: The Quarterly Newsletter of the Scottish Community Diet Project.

(2008) Men and the Obesity Epidemic: Exercising Healthy Scepticism. National Fitness News 10 (5): 39-40. (Irish publication.)

(2005) Taking Sides. Men’s Health Forum Magazine. June. (The magazine is circulated to UK health professionals and MPs. An expanded version of this piece is published in Social Theory & Health 3, 4.)

(2000) Delivering Health and Social Care: Changing Roles, Responsibilities and Working Practices. Report to Welsh Office of Research and Development for Health and Social Care. (With Allen, D., Griffiths, L., Lyne, P. and Murphy, D.)


Room F1006

Office Hours

Term Time: Monday 10.00-11.00am, and 2.30-4.30pm or by appointment outside those hours.


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