Academic Profile

Patrick Williams is a cultural sociologist and social psychologist trained in the symbolic interactionist tradition of sociology. He has theoretical interests in identity and authenticity, methodological interests in ethnography and grounded theory, and empirical interests in youth cultures and subcultures, digital technology and social media, and games. He has authored and edited a number of books on topics such as subcultural theory, identity and authenticity, music, and tabletop and video games.

Patrick teaches (or has taught) courses in cultural sociology, cultural studies, social psychology, symbolic interactionism, youth cultures and subcultures, media and society, technology and society, science fiction, qualitative research methods, and the philosophy of science. He is a dedicated mentor and supervisor and has won every major teaching award at NTU, including the School (2011), College (2013) and University (2018) awards.

He is a past-Vice President (2013-14) of the Society for the Study of Symbolic Interaction. He earned his PhD from the University of Tennessee (2003).
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Assoc Prof James Patrick Williams
Associate Professor, School of Social Sciences

Professor Williams is trained in the symbolic interactionist tradition of sociology, a social-psychological perspective that foregrounds language and meaning as key dimensions of understanding the everyday life.

Prof Williams' research focuses on youth cultures and subcultures, self and identity, digital media, and games. Much of Prof Williams' publications has centered on the construction of subcultural selves/identities among young people who feel in some way separate from mainstream society. His main contributions to sociology have been theorizing (1) the role new media technologies play in facilitating the development and diffusion of subcultures and subcultural identities and (2) theorizing the social construction of subcultural authenticity. His second interest relates to the increasing salience of fantasy and digital games in everyday life.
  • Nanyang Education Award

  • Singaporeans developing knowledge and skills relevant to future careers in the knowledge-based digital economy through participation in esports
  • Williams, J. Patrick. (2018). Subculture’s not Dead! Checking the Pulse of Subculture Studies through a Review of ‘Subcultures, Popular Music and Political Change’ and ‘Youth Cultures and Subcultures: Australian Perspectives’. Young: Nordic Journal of Youth Research, 27(1), 1-17.

  • J. Patrick Williams, Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir. (2017). Muslim Girl Culture and Social Control in Southeast Asia: Exploring the Hijabista and Hijabster Phenomena. Crime, Media, Culture, 13(2), 199-216.

  • Csilla Weninger, J. Patrick Williams. (2017). The Interactional Construction of Social Authenticity: “Real” Identities and Inter-Group Relations in a Transylvania Internet Forum. Symbolic Interaction, .

  • J. Patrick Williams.(2017). Authentic Identities: Straightedge Subculture, Music, and the Internet. Youth Cultures, vol. 4Thousand Oaks: Sage.

  • Patrick J. Williams and Kamaludeen Mohamed Nasir. (2017). “Youth Cultures in Southeast Asia: Exploring Hijabista and Hijabster Phenomena”. Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal, .