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Dr Max Mauro PhD


Faculty of Business, Law and Digital Technologies


Max was born in Switzerland to Italian immigrant parents, and raised in Italy. He worked for ten years as a journalist and writer in Italy, Germany and Venezuela before his interest in migration and youth cultural formations led him back to university to undertake a PhD on youth sport and multiculturalism at the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland. He holds a First Class honours degree in political science at the University of Padova, Italy. He joined Solent University in 2013 to teach on the BA (Hons) Sport Journalism.

In 2014, he was awarded a FIFA Research Scholarship to conduct a study on migrant youth, football and belonging, which led to the publication of the book The Balotelli Generation. Issues of Inclusion and belonging in Italian football and society (Peter Lang, 2016). In 2019, he completed a follow up to his PhD research and published the book Youth sport, migration and culture. Two football teams and the changing face of Ireland(Routledge, 2019).

Max's research interests encompass sport and processes of racialisation; mass media and national identity; journalism and ethnographic writing. On these topics he has published widely, both in academic and non-academic outlets. He is often interviewed by national and international media on issues of racism in sport, Italian football and migration.

Parallel to his academic career, Max is an awarded travel writer in his native language, Italian. He has published the diary of a solo cycling trip through Patagonia (Patagonia Controvento, Patagonia against the wind, 2006) and a travel novel on Berlin (La bici sopra Berlino, The bike over Berlin, 2009). He has further published a journalistic essay on life stories of migration, (La mia casa è dove sono felice, My home is where I am happy, 2005).

Further information

Industry experience

Max’s research work on football and migration has appeared in a number of national and international media, such as Le Temps (Switzerland), The Guardian, BBC (UK), La Repubblica, Il Manifesto and RAI (Italy), City Press (South Africa), Metro Eireann (Republic of Ireland).

Max has vast experience in working with anti-racist organisations in the field of sport. He has contributed to educational and promotional initiatives of the leading Irish NGO Sport Against Racism Ireland (SARI). He produced a film documentation of the 2010 SARI Soccer Fest, and curated the documentary film series on migration and sport ‘Football on Screen’ in collaboration with the Goethe Institute Ireland, SARI and the Centre for Transcultural Research and Media Practice.

Between 2013 and 2017 Max contributed to the development of the pilot Monitoring of Racist and Discriminatory Incidents Scheme set up by Football Against Racism Europe (FARE) and UEFA (the European governing body of association football).

He has written for many years on issues of immigration for a number of Italian newspapers and periodicals.

Teaching experience

At Solent, Max has taught the modules Sport, Society and the Sporting Media, Sport Policy in the 21st Century (Unit leader), Sporting Culture and Mega Events (Unit leader), and dissertation lectures on qualitative research methods and the writing process.

As a visiting lecturer at St Mary’s Twickenham University, London since 2017, Max has taught on the MA International Sports Journalism, convening the module Sport, Globalisation and the Media. He has further taught the module Principle and Practices of Communication, on the BA (Hons) Marketing and Communication.

At the Open University, London, Max has taught the module Issues of Research with Children and Young People on the BA (Hons) Childhood and Youth Studies.

Before moving to the UK, Max also taught Media, Youth and Interculturalism, as part of the training for primary and secondary school teachers held by University of Udine, Italy.

Recent publications

Peer reviewed journals’ articles

2019 ‘The man with the leaking bucket. Ethnography, journalism and the quest for the transformative self’, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies (accepted).

2018 ‘Football fandom in Italy and beyond’, book review, Soccer&Society, vol. 19 (2).

2017 ‘Inclusive sport or institutional discrimination? New FIFA regulations, organized football and migrant youth in Italy’, Sport in Society, vol. 20 (7).

2016 ‘Transcultural Football. Trajectories of belonging among black immigrant youth’, Soccer&Society, vol.17 (6).

Books and book chapters

2019 Youth sport, migration and culture. Two football teams and the changing face of Ireland, Routledge (book).

2018 ‘Challenges and gifts: visual research with teenagers in the multi-ethnic city’. In Crawford, P. and Ragazzi, R. (eds) Perceiving Children: Media, Education and Museum in an Anthropological Perspective, Intervention Press (DK) (book chapter).

2017 ‘Tackling racism and discrimination in grassroots sport: the case of football’, in D. Hassan and C. Acton (eds), Sport and contested identities, Routledge (book chapter).

2016 The Balotelli Generation. Issues of inclusion and belonging in Italian football and society, Peter Lang (book).

2014 ‘A Team like no “Other”. The racialised position of Insaka in Irish Schoolboy Football’, in D. Hassan (ed.) Ethnicity and Race in Association Football: Case Study analyses in Europe, Africa and the USA, London: Routledge (book chapter).


2019 ‘Who plays the game? The multiplication of media-sport events and the appropriation of childhood’, Football Collective Blog.

‘The contradictions of international sport: vehicle of nationalism or embodiment of cosmopolitanism?’, Discover Society.

‘The refugee Olympic team, simply an illusion of inclusion?’, Open Democracy.


  • FIFA Havelange Scholarship by CIES (International Centre for Sport Studies, Neuchatel, CH), USD 18.000, project title: ‘Footprints on the Pitch: Young Immigrants Footballers in Italy After Balotelli’.
  • Full-time PhD Scholarship 2009-2012 (3.5 years), €18.380 per annum, Dublin Institute of Technology and Abbest Scheme, Republic of Ireland.
  • Conference Grant to present at the ‘Critical Themes in Media Studies’ conference. USD 400 grant awarded by The New School, New York, USA.
  • Conference Grant to attend the ‘Summer School on Visual Anthropology’, Cross Cultural Centre (CH) with the Universities of Goettingen (DE), St. Andrews (UK) and Tromso (NO).
  • Friuli-Venezia Giulia Regional Government, Italy, €22.000, research for a book a photo exhibition: ‘Emigration from Italy and Immigration to Italy: a tentative dialogue’. Project leader on behalf of ALEF/CGIL (Association of Migrant Workers).
  • Post-graduate research funding to look at radio broadcasting and minority languages. Mercator Media Project, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, U.K., and Paolo Pistoi Fund, £3.000.
  • Special Award Albatros travel literature festival, Palestrina (Rome), Italy, 2006.
  • ‘Raccontare l’emigrazione’ (Narrating emigration) Award for literature on migration, Borgotaro (Parma), Italy, 2006.