Researchers at UCD


Tom Inglis

Associate Professor

School Of Sociology
Newman Building
Dublin 4

Tel: +353 1 7168586


I was born and raised in Dublin. My great-grandfather lived on the same road.  I grew up in a reasonably safe and secure middle-class enclave in Churchtown and went to the local De La Salle College where the brothers and teachers provided me with a good solid education. After I finished school in 1968, I went to Spain and France for a year. Then I came to UCD and did my BSocSc. I married Aileen shortly after graduating. We had three children, Arron, Olwen and Luke (who died at nine months).
I worked for six years for the Catholic Church as a social researcher; mainly doing social surveys and writing sterile reports. During this time I did my Masters degree during which time I learnt a good deal of sociology from supervisor Don Bennett. In 1979, Aileen and I went to Southern Illinois University. There I learnt even more sociology, particularly with Charles Lemert and Tom Burger.
When I came back to Dublin in 1984, I worked in UCD for three years and published Moral Monopoly. In 1987, I became Director of AONTAS, the National Association of Adult Education. I am still interested in the theory and practice of adult learning. In 1991, I rejoined the Department of Sociology in UCD. My interest in Catholic Ireland broadened to looking at sexuality and the media. Basically I was trying to discover how I, and Irish society and culture, came to be the way we are. In 1998, I published a bigger and better 2nd edition of Moral Monopoly, as well as Lessons in Irish Sexuality. Two years later, I co-edited Religion and Politics (2000). Truth, Power and Lies (2003) was a sociological examination of what became known as the case of the Case of the Kerry Babies. My book Global Ireland: Same Difference (2008) was an examination of how globalisation has influence Irish culture over the last fifty years. In 2012, I published Making Love, a sociological memoir of my life with Aileen who died in 2005. In 2013, I published Love a short sociological description and analsis of what love is about.
I teach courses on Contemporary Irish Culture, Body and Soul, Sociological Theory, and Cultural Theory and Analysis. More recently, I have become involved in the new MA in Irish Studies in which I teach two modules. I am a former President of the Sociological Association of Ireland and editor of the Irish Journal of Sociology. I was co-director of the Identity, Diversity and Citizenship research project in the Geary Institute. My main areas of research are identity, cultural globalisation and secularisation. In recent years, my research interests have moved to cultural sociology, particularly meaning, emotions and identity. I am presently finishing a book on The Webs of Meaning: Everyday Life in Contemporary Ireland that is based on a major qualitative study involving personal interviews with one hundred people.


Honours and Awards

Year: 2008.
Title: President's Research Fellowship
Year: 2004.
Title: Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social Sciences Senior Fellowship


Association: British Sociolological Association, Function/Role: Ordinary Member
Association: European Sociological Association, Function/Role: *
Association: Sociological Association of Ireland, Function/Role: President

Conference Contributions

Tom Inglis (2012) Family and the Meaning of Life in Contemporary Ireland. [Oral Presentation], Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Maynooth , 12-MAY-12 - 12-MAY-12.
Tom Inglis (2012) The Irish Body. [Oral Presentation], Are the Irish Different?, University College Dublin , 20-SEP-12 - 20-SEP-12.
Tom Inglis (2013) Searching for the Meanings of Life. [Oral Presentation], Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Athone, Ireland , 11-MAY-13 - 11-MAY-13.
Tom Inglis; (2011) Religion, Magic and Practical Reason. Reason and Belief in the Knowledge Societies, University of Barcelona , 07-MAY-11 - 07-JUN-11.
Tom Inglis; (2010) Belonging without Believing: Belief in God in Contemporary Ireland. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Belfast , 08-MAY-10 - 10-MAY-10.
Tom Inglis and Hugo Hamilton; (2009) The Meaning of Irish Identity. [Plenary Lecture], 36th Annual Sociological Association of Ireland, Waterford , 08-MAY-09 - 10-MAY-09.
Tom Inglis; (2009) The Global is Local and Personal: Cosmopolitan and Local Cultural Capital. [National Refereed Conference Paper], The Challenge of Global Inquiry, Cardiff , 15-APR-09 - 15-APR-09.
Tom Inglis; (2009) After 125 years does the GAA still matter?. [Invited Lecture], Annual Parnell Society, Rathdrum Co. Wicklow , 09-AUG-09 - 14-AUG-09.
Tom Inglis; (2009) A sociological map of religion in contemporary Ireland. [Keynote Address], Alternative spiritualities, new religious movements and the New Age in Ireland, Maynooth , 30-OCT-09 - 31-OCT-09.
Tom Inglis; (2009) Governing Irish Desire: Domination and Resistance. [International Refereed Conference], Secular Bodies: Sexuality, Secularism and Religion, Amsterdam , 28-JAN-09 - 30-JAN-09.
Tom Inglis; (2008) Sociology of Love. [Invited Lecture], UCD School of Sociology Seminar Series, Univiersity College Dublin , 20-NOV-08 - 20-NOV-08.
Tom Inglis and Theresa O'Keeffe; (2007) Local Belonging, Identities and Sense of Place in Contemporary Ireland. [Poster Presentation (Refereed)], 34th Annual Sociological Association of Ireland Conference, Univesity of Limerick , 11-MAY-07 - 13-MAY-07.
Tom Inglis; (2007) The Personal is Political: Globalisation and Self-Consumption. [National Refereed Conference Paper], 34th Annual Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Conference, University of Limerick , 11-MAY-07 - 13-MAY-07.
Tom Inglis; (2007) Identity Transitions in Celtic Tiger Ireland. [Invited Lecture], Irish-Scottish Forum, University of Arberdeen , 16-NOV-07 - 18-NOV-07.
Tom Inglis; (1998) Lessons in Irish Sexuality. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Allihies Workshop 1998, Allihies Co. Cork , 06-JUN-98 - 08-JUN-98.
Tom Inglis; (2004) Transformations in Self and Irish Society. [Invited Lecture], Changing Ireland Festival, Nottingham , 16-OCT-04 - 16-OCT-04.
Tom Inglis; (2001) Church, Religious Capital and Symbolic Domination. [International Refereed Conference], Third Conference of European Federations and Centres of Irish Studies, University of Aarhus , 10-NOV-01 - 12-NOV-01.
Tom Inglis; (2001) From Self-Denial to Self-Indulgence: Sex and Pleasure in Catholic Ireland. [International Refereed Conference], European Sociological Association, Helsinki , 25-AUG-01 - 29-AUG-01.
Tom Inglis; (2001) Searching for Truth, revealing power, hoping for freedom. [National Refereed Conference Paper], Faith and Culture, National University of Ireland, Maynooth , 22-JUN-01 - 23-JUN-01.
Tom Inglis; (2000) Changes in Irish Realisation of Self. [International Refereed Conference], Understanding Identity, University College Cork , 09-FEB-00 - 10-FEB-00.
Tom Inglis; (1999) Social Emotions: Pride, Honour and Shame in Rural Ireland. [Invited Lecture], University of Amsterdam Colloquim, Amsterdam , 02-NOV-99 - 02-NOV-99.
Tom Inglis; (1997) The Media and the Decline of the Catholic Church in Irish Social Life. [International Refereed Conference], Colloquim on Church-State Relations, Jagelonian University , 21-MAR-97 - 22-MAR-97.
Tom Inglis; (1997) Foucault, Bourdieu and the Field of Irish Sexuality. [International Refereed Conference], Beyond Boundaries: Sexuality Across Culture, University of Amsterdam , 19-JUN-97 - 21-JUN-97.
Tom Inglis; (2005) The Same Difference: Glocalisation and Irish Culture. [National Refereed Conference Paper], 32nd Sociological Association of Ireland Annual Conference, Sligo Institute of Technology , 09-MAY-05 - 11-MAY-05.
Inglis, T; (2004) Catholic Identity, Habitus and Practice in Contemporary Ireland Mapping Identity Change in Contemporary Ireland 2004. [Other], Identity, Diversity and Social Change, Geary Institute , 11-MAY-04 - 11-MAY-04.
Inglis, T; (2003) Re-Imagining Ireland, 2003. [N/A], Re-Imagining Ireland, Charlotsville, Virgina, USA , 07-MAY-03 - 10-MAY-03.


Committee : New Era Standing Committee 1999
Committee : Board of Studies, Adult Education 1997
Committee : Registrars Committee on Access 2000
Committee : Standing Committee on Adult and Community Education 1998
Committee : Standing Committee on 1st Years 1998
Committee : Registrars Steering Committee on Equality of Participation in Higher Education 1997
Committee : External Examiner, National Council for Educational Awards 1998
Committee : External Examiner, Trinity College, Dublin. 2000
Committee : External Assessor, NUI, Maynooth 1998
Committee : Editor, Irish Journal of Sociology
Committee : Advisor to publishers: Gill and Macmillan, University College Dublin Press, Cork University Press, Toronto University Press 1996
Committee : Academic Council
Committee : Social Science Programme Board
Committee : University Modularisation Committee
Committee : Examination Appeals Committee
Committee : School of Sociology, Executive Committee
Committee : School of Sociology, Postgraduate Committee
Committee : School of Sociology, Undergraduate Studies Committee
Committee : Assessment Appeals Committee 2005
Committee : University Undergraduate Programme Board 2007
Committee : Strategic Review of Adult Education 2007
Committee : Bachelor of Social Science Programme Board, Chairperson. 2006¿07.
Committee : Executive Committee Sociological Association of Ireland 2005
Committee : Editorial Team, Irish Journal of Sociology, 2001 Editor 2001 2005


Employer: UCD
Position: Senior Lecturer
Employer: UCD
Position: College Lecturer
Employer: UCD
Position: Assistant Lecturer
Employer: AONTAS
Position: Director
Employer: AONTAS
Position: Research Officer


Year 1979 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: MSocSc Subject:
Year 1972 Institution: University College Dublin
Qualification: BSocSc Subject:
Year 1979 Institution: UCD
Qualification: M.Soc.Sc Subject: --none--
Year 1984 Institution: Southern Illinois University, IL, USA
Qualification: PhD Subject:



Tom Inglis (2014) Meanings of Life in Contemporary Ireland: Webs of Significance. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. [Details]
Tom Inglis (2013) Love. London: Routledge. [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2012) Making Love: A Memoir. Dublin: New Island. [Details]
Inglis, T; (2008) Global Ireland: Same Difference. New York: Routledge. [Details]
Inglis, T; (2003) Truth, Power and Lies: Irish Society and The Case of the Kerry Babies. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. [Details]
Inglis, T; (1998) Moral Monopoly: The Rise and Fall of the Catholic Church in Modern Ireland. 2nd ed. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. [Details]
Inglis, T; (1998) Lessons in Irish Sexuality. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. [Details]
Inglis, T; (1987) Moral Monopoly: Catholic Church in Modern Irish Society. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan. [Details]

Book Chapters

Tom Inglis (2014) 'The Irish Body' In: Tom Inglis (eds). Are the Irish Different?. Manchester: Manchester University Press. , pp.88-98 [Details]
Tom Inglis (2014) 'Searching for and explaining difference' In: Tom Inglis (eds). Are the Irish Different?. Manchester: Manchester University Press. , pp.222-229 [Details]
Tom Inglis (2014) 'Introduction' In: Tom Inglis (eds). Are the Irish Different?. Manchester: Manchester University Press. , pp.1-9 [Details]
Tom Inglis (2015) 'Religion, Magic and Pratical Reason: Meaning and Everyday Life in Contemporary Ireland' In: Carles Salazar and Joan Bestard (eds). Religion and Science as Forms of Life: Anthropological Insights into Reason and Unreason. New York: Berghahn. , pp.188-206 [Details]
Tom Inglis (2015) 'Family and the meaning of life in contemporary Ireland' In: Linda Connolly (eds). The 'Irish' Family. London: Routledge. , pp.70-85 [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2009) 'The Global is Personal' In: Tom Inglis; (eds). Cultural Perspectives on Globalisation and Ireland. Oxford: Peter Lang. , pp.113-130 [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2008) 'The Neary Case' In: Mary Corcoran and Perry Share (eds). Belongings: Shaping Identity in Modern Ireland. Dublin: IPA. , pp.199-214 [Details]
Inglis, T. ; (2007) 'The Religious Field in Contemporary Ireland' In: L. Harte and Y. Whelan (eds). Ireland Beyond Boundaries: Mapping Irish Studies in the Twenty-First Century. London: Pluto Press. [Details]
Ton Inglis; (2007) 'Individualisation and Secularisation in Catholic Ireland' In: Ton Inglis; (eds). Contemporary Ireland: A Sociological Map. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. [Details]
Inglis, T.; (2006) 'Club Anabel' In: Inglis, T.; (eds). Uncertain Ireland: A Sociological Chronicle, 2003¿2004. Dublin: Institute of Public Administration. [Details]
Inglis, T; (2005) 'Religion, identity, state and society' In: Cleary, J. & Connolly, C (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. , pp.59-77 [Details]
Inglis, T; (2003) 'Catholic Church, Religious Capital and Symbolic Domination' In: in M. Boss and E. Maher (eds) (eds). Engaging Modernity: Readings of Irish Politics, Literature and Culture at the Turn of the Century. Dublin: Veritas. , pp.43-70 [Details]
Inglis, T; (2002) 'Searching for Truth, Revealing Power, Hoping for Freedom' In: in E. Cassidy (ed.) (eds). Measuring Ireland: Discerning Values and Beliefs. Dublin: Veritas. , pp.152-175 [Details]
Inglis, T; (2002) 'Pleasure Pursuits' In: ed. M. Corcoran and M. Peillon (eds). Ireland Unbound. Dublin: IPA. , pp.25-35 [Details]
Inglis, T; (2000) 'Understanding Religion and Politics' In: (ed. with Z. Mach and R. Mazanek), Dublin: University College Dublin Press, 2000 (eds). Religion and Politics: East-West Contrasts from Contemporary Europe. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. , pp.1-14 [Details]
Inglis, T; (2000) ''Irish Civil Society: From Church to Media Domination'' In: (ed. with Z. Mach and R. Mazanek) (eds). Religion and Politics: East-West Contrasts from Contemporary Europe. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. , pp.49-67 [Details]
Inglis, T; (1998) 'A Religious Frenzy?' In: in M. Peillon and E. Slater (eds.) (eds). Encounters with Modern Ireland. Dublin: IPA. , pp.73-79 [Details]
Inglis, T; (1998) 'From Sexual Repression to Liberation?' In: in M. Peillon and E. Slater (eds.) , Dublin: Institute of Public Administration, 1998 (eds). Encounters with Modern Ireland. Dublin:: Institute of Public Administration. , pp.99-104 [Details]

Edited Books

Tom Inglis (Ed.). (2014) Are the Irish Different?. Manchester: Manchester University Press. [Details]
Tom Inglis, Zdislaw Mach and Rafel Mazanek (Ed.). (2000) Religion and Politics: East-West Contrasts from Contemporary Europe. Dublin: University College Dublin Press. [Details]

Peer Reviewed Journals

Tom Inglis, Carol MacKeogh (2012) 'The double bind: Women, honour and sexuality in contemporary Ireland'. Media Culture and Society, 34 (1):68-82. Link to full text [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2011) 'The Global and the Local: Mapping Changes in Irish Childhood'. Eire-Ireland, 46 (3&4):63-83. Link to full text [Details]
Tom Inglis, Susie Donnelly; (2011) 'Local and national belonging in a globalised world'. Irish Journal of Sociology, 19 (2):126-142. Link to full text [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2010) 'Sociological Forensics: Illuminating the Whole from the Particular'. Sociology, 44 (3):507-522. Link to full text [Details]
Donnelly, Susie & Inglis, Tom; (2010) 'The Media and the Catholic Church in Ireland: Reporting Clerical Child Sex Abuse'. Journal of Contemporary Religion, . [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2009) 'Power, Pleasure and Comunity in a Learning Society'. The Adult Learner, :111-125. [Details]
Inglis, T.; (2007) 'Catholic Identity in Contemporary Ireland: Belief and Belonging to Tradition'. Journal of Contemporary Religion, 22 (2):205-220. Link to full text [Details]
Inglis, T; (2006) 'From Self-Denial to Self-Indulgence: The Clash of Cultures in Contemporary Ireland'. Irish Review, 34 (Spring):34-43. [Details]
Inglis, T; (2005) 'Origins and legacies of Irish prudery: Sexuality and social control in modern Ireland'. Eire-Ireland, 40 :9-37. Link to full text [Details]
Inglis, T; (2002) 'Sexual Transgression and Scapegoats: A Case Study from Modern Ireland'. Sexualities, 5 (1):5-24. [Details]
Inglis, T; (2001) 'Honour Pride and Shame in Rural Ireland'. Amsterdams Sociologisch Tijdschrift, 28 (4):495-512. [Details]
Inglis, T; (1998) 'Telling Stories about Irish Women'. Auto/Biography, 6 (1):23-30. [Details]
Inglis, T; (1997) 'Foucault, Bourdieu and the Field of Irish Sexuality'. Irish Journal of Sociology, 7 :5-28. [Details]
Inglis, T; (1997) 'Empowerment and emancipation'. Adult Education Quarterly, 48 :3-17. [Details]

Published Reports

Tom Inglis; (1999) 1999 No Room For Adults? A Study of Mature Students in University College Dublin. Adult Education Office, Dublin. [Details]


Inglis, T; (1998) A critical realist approach to emancipation: A response to Mezirow. Editorial [Details]

Newspaper Articles

Tom Inglis; (2009) Sins of the Fathers. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2009) How we became an international disgrace. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2009) Wearing a grief pin would signify the enormity of bereavement. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2009) GAA has tapped into sport as substitute for religion. Dublin: Newspaper Articles [Details]


Tom Inglis; (2010) Book Review: Leanne McCormick's Regulating Sexuality. Abstract [Details]

Book Reviews

Tom Inglis; (2009) Getting and Spending: Culture and Value in Global Ireland. Dublin: Book Reviews [Details]
Tom Inglis; (2007) Letting in the Light: Media and Culture in Ireland. Dublin: Book Reviews [Details]


Research Interests

I am interested in how sociology provides an explanation and understanding of how I came to be the way I am. This necessarily involves understanding how Western soiety, and Ireland in particular, came to be the way it is. It involves understanding how life is structured by structures, institutions, discourses and contexts and, at the same time, how people create and sustain meaning. My main orientation is cultural sociology.My writings have focused on meaning, love, religion, sexuality, globalisation, the media, identity and self.

Research Projects

Sponsor : Higher Education Authority (HEA)
Title : Identity, Diversity and Citizenship
Start Date / End Date : 01-OCT-02 / 31-DEC-07
Sponsor : University College Dublin (UCD)
Title : School of Sociology Research Students' Professional Development
Start Date / End Date : 01-SEP-11 / 30-SEP-16

Recent Postgraduates

Margaret O'Keeffe (Government of Ireland Senior Scholarship) 'Technological Capital: A Conceptual and Empirical Analysis' PhD, UCD, 2003 (Senior Supervisor).

Bernie Grummel (Government of Ireland Senior Scholarship) 'Learning from Television: the role of education and broadcasting in civil society' PhD, UCD, 2004 (Senior Supervisor).

Ellen Gallagher (Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship) 'Joking Apart: Processes of National Identification in Wartime Ireland: Dublin Opinion, 1922-2 and 1936-46' PhD, UCD, 2004 (Associate Supervisor).

Ciaran Smyth (Government of Ireland Senior Scholarship), 'Institutionalised Madness: Three Levels of Explanation and Six Domains of Ignorance', PhD, UCD, 2004 (Principal Supervisor).

Sandra Stewart, 'Why are Blood Donors Different?' (Government of Ireland Scholarship), PhD, UCD, 2011 (Associate Supervisor).

Paul Ryan 'Strangers in their own land: The everyday lives of gay men and Irish 
society 1970-80' PhD, UCD, 2004 (Principal Supervisor).

Edward Brennan 'Private Dramas and Public Life: A Study of Fair City's Production and its Potential Contribution to Discussion and Debate in Irish Society' PhD, UCD, 2004 (Principal Supervisor).

Karen Andersen 'The Secularisation debate in Western Society: Ireland as a Unique Case' PhD, UCD, 2007 (Principal Supervisor).

Sinead Pembroke (Government of Ireland Senior Scholarship) 'Irish hidden history: The social and personal consequences of Catholic Industrial Schools' PhD, UCD, 2012 (Principal Supervisor).

Susie Donnelly (Government of Ireland Senior Scholarship) 'The Media and the Catholic Church in Ireland: Clerical Sex Scandals and Shifts in the Balance of Power' PhD, UCD, 2012 (Principal Supervisor).