Paul willis is best known for his rich ethnographic studies of working-class youth culture willis is a prominent member of the celebrated birmingham centre for contemporary cultural studies, and is the joint founding editor of the journal ethnography.
Among his many works are learning to labour: how working class kids get working class jobs and the ethnographic imagination famous works paul willis is best known for his rich ethnographic studies of working-class youth culture.
Learning to labor: how working class kids get working class jobs paul e willis columbia university press, learning to labour: how working class kids get working class jobs paul willis limited preview - 2017 paul willis is research fellow at the centre for contemporary cultural studies, birmingham university. Paul willis foreword by stanley aronowitz a landmark work in sociology, cultural studies, and ethnography since its publication in 1977, paul willis's learning to labor is a provocative and troubling account of how education links culture and.
Paul willis’ ‘learning to labour’ is a significant study for two reasons firstly his research followed a group of lads in the 1970s that rejected school and all its values and instead focused on leaving school as soon as they could. Paul willis is a leading british cultural theorist he was a professor of social/cultural ethnography at keele university his most famous book entitled “learning to labour” was a series of observations and interviews in a school, which was created to discover why working class children get working class jobs.
Learning to labour by paul willis (1977) is an ethnographic study of twelve working class ‘lads’ from a school in birmingham conducted between 1972 and 1975 he spent a total of 18 months observing the lads in school and then a further 6 months following them into work.
Paul willis' ethnographic investigation has been hailed a landmark study by educators and social theorist alike (giddens 1984, mcrobbie 1978) indeed any detailed discussion on the sociology of education, subcultures or even deviancy within society would seem redundant if there was no reference to learning to labour.