Biography

I was previously a part-time Professor of Social/Cultural Ethnography at Keele from May 2003. Trained in literary criticism at Cambridge, I received my PhD in 1972 from the Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies at Birmingham University where I remained as Senior Research Fellow until 1981. During the 1980`s I served as youth policy adviser to Wolverhampton Borough Council in the English Midlands. There I produced The Youth Review (published by the Council and Ashgate) which formed the basis for youth policy in that city and for the formation of the democratically elected Youth Council, both still functioning. During the 1990`s I served first as Head of the Division of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies and then as a member of the Professoriate at the University of Wolverhampton. In 2000 I co-founded the Sage Journal, Ethnography .

My work has focussed on the mainly, but not exclusively, ethnographic study of lived cultural forms in a wide variety of contexts, from highly structured to weakly structured ones, examining how practices of `informal cultural production` help to produce and construct cultural worlds `from below`. Currently I am working on conceptual and methodological ways of connecting or re-connecting a concern with identity/culture to economic structure, with particular reference to `shop floor culture`.

I have held a variety of consulting posts including: membership of the Youth Policy Working Group of the Labour Party (1989-90); at the English Arts Council (1992-3); at the Tate Gallery of the North (1995-6). I am a Board member of the journal Youth Studies and jointly edits Ethnography . I review widely for publishers and journals, have externally examined a wide range of PhD theses and am currently the external examiner for the Sociology degree at Loughborough University.

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Books

  • Learning to Labour - in New times, (ed with Nadine Dolby & Greg Dimitriadis). New York: Routledge, forthcoming
  • The Ethnographic Imagination ,. Cambridge: Polity, 2000
  • jointly edited with M Castells et al,   Neuvas Perspectivas Criticas en Educacion . Barcelona: Paidós Educador, 1994  
  • (with S Jones, J Canaan and G Hurd) Common Culture . Milton Keynes: Open University, Press 1990, reprinted 1994 & 1996.
  • Moving Culture. London: Gulbenkian Foundation, 1990.
  • (with A Bekenn, T Ellis and D Whitt) The Youth Review . Aldershot: Gower, 1988
  • (with A Bekenn, T Ellis and D Whitt) The Social Condition of Young People in Wolverhampton in 1984 . Wolverhampton: Wolverhampton Borough Council, 1985.
  • Profane Culture . London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1978
  • Learning to Labour . Aldershot: Gower, 1977, reprinted 1978, 79, 80,81,88,94,98, 2001  

Conference Papers published in refereed Conference Proceedings

  • 8   Feb 02 `The Dialectics of "Surprise"`, invited keynote address to the Annual General Meeting of the Swedish Sociological Association, Karlstad, Sweden,
  • 28 Feb 02 `Taking the Piss: routines and rituals of shop floor life`, invited paper to the Art-Document-Society day conference in Manchester organised jointly by the Sociology Department and International Centre for Labour Studies of Manchester University
  • 1-4 Apr   02 American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, invited to reply to two separate panels of papers based on my work: ` Learning to Labour: Twenty Five Years on; Common Culture: Where We Are Now
  • 5 Jun 02 ` Reflections on the Journey from Learning to Labour to Ethnography `, invited public lecture, Autonomous University of Barcelona, Barcelona
  • 7-10 Sept 02 `Autonomy and Determinacy in Cultural Forms`, invited paper to the Ethnografest, an ESRC (American) supported conference held in Berkeley sponsored by the Centre for Urban Ethnography, Berkeley University and the Journal, Ethnography
  • 14-15 Nov 02 `The Ethnographic Study of Culture`, keynote address to the Observational Methods in Ethnography conference organised by the Nordic PFI, Oslo
  • 29 Nov 02 `A Review of the Reviews; How Learning to Labour has fared over twenty Five Years`, invited address to the Dutch Association for Educational Sociology Symposium, Learning to Labour: twenty five years on , Amsterdam
  • 14-15 Nov 02 `The Ethnographic Study of Culture`, keynote address to the Observational Methods in Ethnography conference organised by the Nordic PFI, Oslo
  • 29 Nov 02 `A Review of the Reviews; How Learning to Labour has fared over twenty Five Years`, invited address to the Dutch Association for Educational Sociology Symposium, Learning to Labour: twenty five years on, Amsterdam
  • 12 March 03 `Changes in Working Class Culture and Educational Dilemmas`, invited address to thePolitics, Democracy and Education series, Faculty of Education, Cambridge
  • 13 August 03 `For a Sensuous Notion of Working Class Culture`, invited session for the Thematic panel on Class & Culture , American Sociological Association, Atlanta
  • 5 Nov 03 `Are the lights out in Working Class Culture: A Report from England`, an invited address to The American Academy of Political and Social Science, Philadelphia.
  • Jan 20 `Invisible Aesthetics` invited lecture to The Treason of Images day conference at Tate Modern, London

Journal Papers

  • `New Times, Old Texts`, in N Dolby and G Dimitriadis (ed.s), Learning to Labour - in New Times. New York: Routledge,   forthcoming .
  • `Invisible Aesthetics and the Social Work of Commodity Culture` in D Inglis & J Hughson (ed.s) The Sociology of Art . London: Palgrave,   forthcoming
  • The Liberty Bell`, Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science forthcoming
  • `Foot Soldiers of Modernity: The Dialectics of Cultural Consumption and the 21 st -Century School,Harvard Educational Review , 73.3. Fall, 2003
  • 'Tekin` the Piss?',   in D Holland & J Lave (ed.s), History in Person,. Santa Fe: School of American Research Press, 2001.
  • `"Centre" and Periphery An Interview with Paul Willis`, Cultural Anthropology Vol 16 No 3, 2001
  • 'Manifesto for Ethnography', (with M. Trondman), Ethnography Vol. 1 No 1, 2000; Reprinted in Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, Vol. 2   No 3, 2002.
  • 'A Cultural Policy for Grounded Aesthetics', The European/International Journal of Cultural Policy , Vol. 4 No 8, 1998; translated into Swedish, KritiskUtbildningstidskrift 90 (2-1998); translated into Spanish,Arxious de Sociologia   No 3, 1999.
  • 'Fetishism and the Cultural Commodity' in J Pacheco (ed), Cultural Studies and the Politics of Everyday Life. Lund, Sweden: Lund University press, 1999
  • 'Labour Power, Culture and the Cultural Commodity', in M. Castells et al (ed.s), Critical Education in the New Information Age, Boulder, Co: Rowman & Littlefield, December 1999
  • 'Towards a Grounded Aesthetics: Notes on Common Culture', The European Journal of Cultural Studies,Vol. 1 No 2, 1998; reprinted in Sociology of Education, ( ed S Ball) Routledge, 2000; translated into Spanish, Tempora, Segunda Epoca.Vol 3, 2000.
  • 'Cultural Studies Will Be the Death of Anthropology', in Cultural Studies Will Be the Death of Anthropology, Group for Debates in Anthropological Theory. Manchester: University of Manchester, 1997
  • 'TIES: Theoretically Informed Ethnographic Study', in S Nugent (ed.), Inventions and Reinventions: Anthropology and Cultural Studies. London: Pluto 1997
  • `The Quasi-Modo Commodity `, Journal of the Swedish Institute for Future Studies , Nov, 1997.

Selected Publications

  • WILLIS PE. 2008. Symbolic creativity. In Cultural theory and popular culture: A reader. Storey J (Ed.). Edinburgh: Pearson Education.
  • WILLIS PE. 2008. The books at the end of the shelf. In CCCS working papers in cultural studies. Hall S (Ed.). London: Routledge.
  • WILLIS PE. 2008. The motor-bike boys. In Subcultures: critical concepts in media and cultural studies. Gelder K (Ed.). London: Routledge.
  • WILLIS PE. 2005. Entrevista com Paul Willis. Tempo social - Revista de sociologia da USP, vol. 17(2), 301-333.
  • WILLIS PE. 2005. Invisible aesthetics and the social work of commodity culture. In The Sociology of Art. Inglis D and Hughson J (Eds.). London: Palgrave.

Full Publications List show

Books

  • Willis P. Dolby, D, Dimitriadis, G, Willis, P (Eds.). 2004. Centre and Periphery - an interview with Paul Willis (Book Chapter). Rouledge, New York, NY 7 London UK.
  • Willis P. Dolby, N, Dimitriadis, G, Willis, P (Eds.). 2004. Learning to Labour in New Times (Edited Book Published by Routledge). Routledge, New York NY 7 London UK.
  • Willis P. Dolby, D, Dimitriadis, G, Willis, P (Eds.). 2004. Twenty-five years on: Old Books, New Times (Book Chapter). Routledge, New York, NY 7 London UK.

Journal Articles

  • WILLIS PE. 2005. Entrevista com Paul Willis. Tempo social - Revista de sociologia da USP, vol. 17(2), 301-333.
  • WILLIS PE. 2004. The Liberty Bell: A Meditation on Labor, Liberty, and the Cultural Mediations that Connect or Disconnect them. Annals of the Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 595(1), 223-248. doi>
  • WILLIS PE. 2003. Foot Soldiers of Modernity: The Dielectics of Cultural Consumption and the 21st Century School. Harvard Educational Review, vol. 73(3), 390-415. doi>

Chapters

  • WILLIS PE. 2008. Symbolic creativity. In Cultural theory and popular culture: A reader. Storey J (Ed.). Edinburgh: Pearson Education.
  • WILLIS PE. 2008. The books at the end of the shelf. In CCCS working papers in cultural studies. Hall S (Ed.). London: Routledge.
  • WILLIS PE. 2008. The motor-bike boys. In Subcultures: critical concepts in media and cultural studies. Gelder K (Ed.). London: Routledge.
  • WILLIS PE. 2005. Invisible aesthetics and the social work of commodity culture. In The Sociology of Art. Inglis D and Hughson J (Eds.). London: Palgrave.
  • WILLIS PE. 2004. Twenty-Five Years On: Old Books; New Times. In Learning to Labour in New Times. Dolby N, Dimitriadis G, Willis P (Eds.). Routledge.
  • WILLIS PE. 2001. "Tekkin" the Piss. In History in Person: Enduring Struggles, Contentious Pratice, Intimate Identities (SAR Advanced Seminar) . Holland D and Lave J (Eds.). James Currey Publishers .