from my drum set

I have had a long-standing, personal interest in youth subcultures. Starting in the mid-1980s I participated in punk and straightedge, and since the 1990s in death metal, where I stayed relatively active as a musician until the mid-2000s. Rather than approach youth subcultures from the perspectives of deviance or delinquency studies, I see youth subcultures as reified networks and social spaces wherein youth find meaningful identities and communities of similar others.

Current project (2015)

I am currently advising a variety of projects related to Singaporea and Southeast, including fan cultures, and sexual, religious, and music subcultures.

Past projects

With the explosive growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the 1990s, youth established computer-mediated social spaces where they experience subcultural lives. Beginning in 2000 I conducted ethnographic fieldwork on the straightedge subculture online. My goal was to investigate the links between youth subcultures and ICTs and to highlight how ICTs facilitates subcultural change. A series of publications emerged from this research related to straightedge subculture and authenticity.

In the past few years I have collaborated with criminologists in an effort to highlight insider perspectives of violent offenders, many of whom operate in subcultural and/or street cultural worlds. I also recently produced a collaborative, performative project that engaged the intersections of Rude Boy culture, education, and autoethnography.


[check my CV page for links to many of my publications]

[In press] Williams, J. Patrick, and Samantha Ho. “‘Sasaengpaen’ or K-pop Fan? Singapore Youths, Authenticity, and Asian Media Fandom.” Deviant Behavior. DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2014.983011

2015. Williams, J. Patrick, and Muhammad Kamal Jauhari bin Zaini. "Rude Boy Subculture, Critical Pedagogy, and the Collaborative Construction of an Analytic and Evocative Autoethnography." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. DOI: 10.1177/0891241614549835

2014. Williams, J. Patrick, and Erik Hannerz. "Articulating the 'Counter' in Subculture Studies." M/C Journal 17(6).

2014. Williams, J. Patrick. “Subcultures and Deviance.” Pp. 108-124 in Michael Dellwing, Joseph A. Kotarba, and Nathan W. Pino (Eds.) The Death and Resurrection of Deviance. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave. DOI: 10.1057/9781137303806.0010

2011. Williams, J. Patrick. “Structuring Knowledge of Subcultural Folk Devils through News Coverage: Social Cognition, Semiotics, and Political-Economy.” Studies of Transition States and Societies 3(2):3-13.

2011. Williams, J. Patrick. Subcultural Theory: Traditions and Concepts. Polity.

2010. Hochstetler, Andy, Heith Copes, and J. Patrick Williams. “‘That’s Not Who I Am:’ How Offenders Commit Violent Acts and Reject Authentically Violent Selves.” Justice Quarterly 27(4):492-516.

2009. Lewin, Philip, and J. Patrick Williams. “The Ideology and Practice of Authenticity in Punk Subculture.” Pp. 65-83 in Phillip Vannini and J. Patrick Williams (eds.) Authenticity in Self, Culture and Society. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.

2009. Williams, J. Patrick. “The Multidimensionality of Resistance in Youth-Subcultural Studies.” Resistance Studies 2(1):20-33.

2008. Williams, J. Patrick. “Teaching and Learning Guide for Youth-Subculture Studies: Sociological Traditions and Core Concepts.” Sociology Compass 2(2):765-774.

2007. Williams, J. Patrick. “Youth-Subcultural Studies: Sociological Traditions and Core Concepts.” Sociology Compass 1(2):572-593.

2007. Copes, Hieth, and J. Patrick Williams. "Techniques of Affirmation: Deviant Behavior, Moral Commitment, and Subcultural Identity." Deviant Behavior 28(3):247-272.

2007. Williams, J. Patrick. "How the Internet is Changing Straightedge." In Arielle Greenburg (ed.) Youth Subcultures: Exploring Underground America. Allyn & Bacon/Longman.

2006. Williams, J. Patrick. "Authentic Identities: Straightedge Subculture, Music, and the Internet." Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 35(2):173-200.

2006. Williams, J. Patrick. “Consumption and Authenticity in Collectible Strategy Games Subculture.” Pp. 77-99 in J. Patrick Williams, Sean Q. Hendricks, and W. Keith Winkler (eds.) Gaming as Culture: Essays in Reality, Identity and Experience in Fantasy Games. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.

2005. Williams, J. Patrick, & Heith Copes. "How Edge Are You? Constructing Authentic Identities and Subcultural Boundaries in a Straightedge Internet Forum." Symbolic Interaction 28(1):67-89.

2003. Williams, J. Patrick. "Straightedge Subculture on the Internet: A Case Study on Style-Display Online." Media International Australia Incorporating Culture and Policy Journal 107:61-74.