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Learning to Labor

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  461 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Hailed by the New Society as the best book on male working class youth, this classic work, first published in 1977, has been translated into several foreign languages and remains the authority in ethnographical studies.
Paperback, 226 pages
Published December 22nd 1981 by Columbia University Press (first published January 1st 1977)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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Apr 26, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: soc
İşçiliği Öğrenmek etkileyici bir etnografik çalışma. Willis'in mahir bir etnograf olduğu satır aralarına sızabilmesi, kanlı canlı, karikatürize edilmemiş "insan"larla muhatap olabilmesi kitaptaki gerçekliği okura aktarıyor ve kitabı bir takım akademik yeterlilikler için yapılmış çalışmalardan ayırıyor.

-İşçiler ve kapitalist sistem arasındaki ikilik sebebiyle işçiler tamamen bastırılan, kendi kaderlerine dair (bile) iradeleri olmayan bir grup mahkum mu? Aslında ilerici veya sosyal demokrat argü
Lore Kapo
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Es una excelente etnografía acerca de cómo las culturas contraescolares subvierten o profanan ciertas ideas acerca del trabajo no cualificado o el trabajo manual. Estas contraculturas les dan una base a los chicos de clase obrera que les permite encontrar, crear significaciones y marcos conceptuales específicos cuando salen de la escuela y empiezan a trabajar. Son las contraculturas escolares las que traccionan ciertas naturalizaciones sobre la clase, el género y la raza que permiten, una vez te ...more
Vikas Lather
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An insightful work on how counter culture ends serving the interest of the ruling class.
Although it was written in 1977 and is horribly patriarchal in its worldview, this book does an excellent job of explaining how class inequalities manifest in the education system and later in the workplace. Willis gives an insightful account of working class culture - I only wish he had investigated the experience of those who seem to experience class mobility as a result of their engagement with the education system.
Jul 09, 2007 rated it liked it
I was fascinated by what this book was about but it's pretty textbookly-written. I enjoyed the ideas in it far more than the actual writing, sadly. ...more
Edrick Willie
May 30, 2022 rated it liked it
Oof. Showing signs of summer slippage in that I was all onboard for Part I -- on practice -- and gradually losing the shape of the text in Part II -- theory. What I could gather is that the liberal democratic public school is structured in a way that perpetuates capitalism and de-legitimizes working class students' decisions not to play the game. That, I can agree with. ...more
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
This book clearly shows that the fact that some children get workingclass jobs is not only the result of their mental capacity, motivation or other individual traits. Rather, it is the result of some cultural activities and their antagonism towards the dominant teaching paradigm and the school as institution and their rebellion against it which also fosters it.
Also, inherent to their cultural values is sheer masculinity and an appreciation of practical knowlegde, viewed by them to be superior to
Nov 30, 2008 added it
Bad boys in industrial Britian. Are they really free to change their socieonomic status? Using a case study, Willis would argue that, through thier perceptions of the world and the subsequent choices they make, these lads appeare to be predestined for manual labor. Willis's jargon is a lot to plough trough and his psycoanalysis is sometimes questionsable, but it certinley is an eye opener for those of us who think we can change the world through education. ...more
Declan Merrington
One of the most important texts when it comes to working-class education. I don't necessarily agree with the findings and deductions, but nonetheless the thick ethnography is fantastic. "Even communists like to 'ave a laff". ...more
Mar 19, 2022 rated it did not like it
The author uses so much academic jargon and rambling sentences, it makes me doubt how clear his thinking actually is. The concepts seem fairly simple, I suspect he may be trying to elevate his content by dressing it up in obscure academic language to make it sound more serious and well-researched. I got half-way through the book with a dictionary at my side and finally gave up. It’s just too much work to understand someone who, in the end, isn’t saying that much.
Stacy Ma
Nov 10, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hot damn just say it’s Birmingham
Apr 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mar 09, 2022 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can relate this book to lots of sub cultures in England.
Mar 01, 2022 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
¿La primera parte donde escribe nos muestra la etnografía? Fantástica.
¿Las conclusiones? Reiterantes. Nada que no se haya mencionado anteriormente en la primera parte.
Léo Henry
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the best ethnography I ever read.
Michelle Jones
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Excellent ethnography, marred by an analysis section that is nearly incomprehensible. Most frustrating is the frequent use of original (and unintuitive) terminology that is never defined.
Nicholas Hatton
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting insights into the self perpetuating class system in the UK.
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Apt and thought provoking!
Oct 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I chose to read 'Learning to Labour' in order to critically reflect on my own position and practice as an education worker; particularly where the limits of 'good schooling' lie, and ultimately, how schools reproduce capitalism. Whilst being far from presenting a general perspective on schooling, given its particular focus on a group of white, male students in a medium-sized industrial town, and being slightly dated, given its production in the 1970s, I still found Willis' book to present a very ...more
Apr 06, 2015 added it
Shelves: read2015
This book has been on my reading list for 15 years and I'm glad I finally read it in Britain. Willis argues that the matching of working class boys with working class jobs is the result of a cultural process in which they see through the promises of school (it is designed to produce inequality no matter what) and decide to bond with one another in the manner of the roguish laborers they will become.The oppositional culture and sexism are recognizable today even though so much has changed. There' ...more
Erin Reilly-Sanders
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
The first part about the research is readable and reveals a generous amount of actual transcripts of conversation so that you can get a good feel for the research. the only problem is that the culture that it describes feels a little too much like the greasers in The Outsiders to make comfortable parralells across 40 years and the Atlantic Ocean. The second part labeled "anaylsis" is rather dry and unreadable while trying to relate ideas in the text to other theorists. The commentary inbetween t ...more
Kirk Kittell
Apr 23, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended by Seth Godin in Linchpin . ...more
Jessica Fure
May 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you want to be an ethnographer, this is the book to start with. Willis stays away from the hyper-excitement and gee-wowism that most fandom studies authors do (learn from him, please!) while still remaining respectful of his subjects.
Nov 11, 2007 rated it it was ok
not nearly as interesting as i thought it would be.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tietokirjat
Mielenkiintoinen tenttkirja.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it liked it
The ethnography was a good look into the types of resistance that teachers see in schools and an interesting glimpse into the lives of school-aged boys.
Jul 26, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the all time best books I have ever read. Amongst non-fiction books, the book I probably recommend the most.
Jul 13, 2007 rated it it was ok
not like Willis has an agenda or anything.

interesting, though.
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We have nothing but our chains!
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Paul Willis is a British social scientist known for his work in sociology and cultural studies. Paul Willis' work is widely read in the fields of sociology, anthropology, and education, his work emphasizing consumer culture, socialization, music, and popular culture. He was born in Wolverhampton[1] and received his education at the University of Cambridge and at the University of Birmingham. He wo ...more

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