Frank Bechhofer, born in 1935, was an expert on nationalism, especially national identity in Scotland and England.

Professor Bechhofer took a first degree in Mechanical Sciences at the University of Cambridge in 1959. He started his career as a Research Officer in the Department of Applied Economics at Cambridge University and in 1965 went to the University of Edinburgh, first as a lecturer in the Department of Sociology, and later Reader.

He later became a Research Fellow in the Institute of Governance at Edinburgh and founded the Research Centre for Social Sciences in 1984, where he was Director until he took early retirement in 1997 to concentrate on his research.

Since 1997 his research interests, in collaboration mainly with David McCrone, were focussed on nationalism, particularly national identity in Scotland and England in the context of constitutional change, using a variety of research methods.

His books include Understanding National Identity (2015, with David McCrone); National Identity, Nationalism and Constitutional Change, (2009, edited with David McCrone); Living in Scotland: Social and Economic Changes since 1980 (2004, with Lindsay Paterson and David McCrone); and Principles of Research Design in the Social Sciences(2000, with Lindsay Paterson).

Professor Bechhofer was Chair of the British Sociological Association from 1984 to 1986.


Sociology: Introductory Readings (3rd Edition), edited by Anthony Giddens and Philip W Sutton (page 54)

Amazon pages

The British Sociological Association: A Sociological History, by Jennifer Platt (2003)