Lance W. Roberts, Ph.D

Lance W. Roberts, Ph.D.

Research Programme & Interests

My current research programme explores three lines of inquiry related to education, gambling, and ethnicity issues.  Here is a brief description of each and some selected publication illustrating my intrests.

Education:  I have a long standing interest in how social conditions and environments affect inequality and student achievement.  For an extended period, this interest was confined to conducting pure research.  Recently, I have been developing and conducting applied research studies focused on how school facility conditions affect the quality of teaching and learning environments.

Selected  recent publications:

  • Edgerton, J.D., Peter,T., & Roberts, L.W. (2014). "Gendered habitus and gender differences in academic achievement." Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 60(1), 182-212.
  • Edgerton, J.D. & Roberts, L.W. (2014). Cultural capital or habitus? Bourdieu and beyond in the explanation of enduring educational inequality/difference.  Theory and Research in Education, 12(2): 193-220.
  • Edgerton, J.D. & Roberts, L.W. (2014). "Need for Achievement". In A. Michalos (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research, (pp. 4284-87). Dordrecht, Netherland: Springer Publishers.
  • S. von Below, J. Powell, L.W. Roberts (2013) "Educational Systems and Rising Inequality: Eastern Germany after Unification", Sociology of Education. October, 86: 362-375.
  • "Education and the Quality of Life" (with J. Edgerton & S. von Below) (2013) In Kenneth C. Land, Alex C. Michalos, & M. Joseph Sirgy (Eds.), Handbook of Social Indicators and Quality of Life Research.  Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer Publishers. Pp. 265-296.

Gambling: Jason Edgerton and I are developing a research programme exploring issues related to youth gambling.  This work is currently being funded by grants by the Manitoba Gambling Research Program.

Selected recent publications:

  • Edgerton, J.D., Melnyk, T.S.,  & Roberts, L.W. (2014). "An exploratory study of multiple distinct gambling trajectories in emerging adults."  Journal of Youth Studies (online first) DOI: 10.1080/13676261.2014.992326.
  • Edgerton, J.D., Melnyk, T.S., & Roberts, L.W. (2014). "Problem gambling and the youth-to-adulthood transition:  Assessing problem gambling severity trajectories in a sample of young adults." Journal of Gambling Studies (online first)  DOI: 10.1007/s10899-014-9501-2.

Ethnicity:  My long standing interest in ethnicity and social integration was recently directed at international comparisons.  I am returning to investigate these topics in the Canadian context. 

Selected Publications:

  • Multicultural Variations: Social Incorporation in Europe and North America. (2013) Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press (Co-edited with B. Ferguson, S. von Below, M. Boes)
  • "The Challenge and Response of Ethnic Diversity: The Canadian Case" (2013) (with B. Ferguson) in Multicultural Variations: Social Incorporation in Europe and North America.  McGill-Queen's University Press. Pp. 268-303..
  • "Ethnogenesis: Modes of Multiculturalism in Six Societies" (2013) (with M. Boes, J. Edgerton & S. von Below) in Multicultural Variations: Social Incorporation in Europe and North America.  McGill-Queen's  University Press. Pp.487-513.

 Recent Research Grants

  • 2015-17  Manitoba Gambling Research Program: Is On-line Gaming a Risk Factor for Problem Gambling?  Co-investigator (with Jason Edgerton) $49,897.20
  • 2012-14  Manitoba Gambling Research Program: Longitudinal Analyses of the Prevalence, Course, and Co-morbidity of Problem Gambling in Young Adults.  Co-investigator (with Jason Edgerton) $64,577 


Given the increasing specialization within the descipline, I believe that it is more important than ever that students be connected to the core concepts, principles, and theories that comprise the sociological tradition.  This commitment is the central motivation to writing books that help students develop their mastery of root ideas.

My teaching approach is nicely encapsulated in the slogan: Sociology is a verb, not a noun.  In my view, sociology is a practice that connects knowledge and action.  As an extension of this principle, I am keenly interested in helping students develop links between abstract sociological ideas and the concrete world of human experience.

Recent Teaching Awards

  • Dr. and Mrs. H.H. Saunderson Award for Excellence in Teaching
  • University 1, University of Manitoba, Excellence in Teaching Award
  • Faculty of Arts, University of Manitoba, Outstanding Achievement Award
  • Faculty of Arts, university of Manitoba, Teaching Excellence Award

Public Sociology

As an entension to my work in the sociology of education, I have focused on how school facility conditions affect the quality of teaching and learning environments.  The practical implications of this work have resulted in numerous opportunities to write for trade-publications and address administrators and opinion-makers.

Selected recent illustrations

  • Expert witness testimony on the issue "Do School Facilities Impact Educational Outcomes?" to the Supreme Court of British Columbia regarding the case Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique vs Majesty the Queen (Supreme Court of British Columbia, Vancouver Registry, Matter No. S103975).
  • Mission-Relevant School Facility Renewal, Manitoba Association of School Superintendents Sustainability and Education for Action conference, Keynote Address, Winnipeg, MB
  • "When educators help guide facility renewal and modernization investments, enormous financial and education value can be created". Ops Talk, (Spring), pp. 42-45.  Reprinted in Educational Business Administrator (Spring), pp. 26-29 
  • "From Heat-Loss to Learning-Loss: Extending the Focus of School Facility Management". Manitoba Association of School Business Officials (Spring)
  • "Mission-Relevant School Facility Renewal: Canada's First Case". Educational Business Administrator, Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials.

Last updated: June 2015