Assistant Professor of Sociology
Phone: (561) 297-0261
Office: CU 260/Boca Campus
Research: Cultural Sociology; Political Sociology; Environmental Sociology; Rural Sociology; Community; Poverty and Inequality; Qualitative Research Methods; Social Theory; Youth Subcultures
Teaching: Sociology of Culture; Youth Subcultures; Political Economy of Culture; Sociology of Work; Sociological Theory; Qualitative Research Methods
Philip Lewin joined FAU’s Sociology Department in 2014 after earning his Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. His research examines how political and economic elites use culture to dominate subordinate groups, and how subordinate groups use culture to resist being dominated by them.
Based on nine months of ethnographic fieldwork, nearly 50 in-depth interviews, and extensive document analysis, his current research project examines how energy market changes, mining-related pollution, population loss, government malfeasance, opioid addiction, and cultural stigmatization have affected communities in Central Appalachia, and how people living in Appalachian communities have interpreted and responded to these challenges. The goal is to debunk popular misunderstandings about the region and produce knowledge that residents can use to help their communities recover from the loss of coal jobs. Recent papers from the project examine how coal companies build public support, how they respond to victims of mining-related pollution, and how Donald Trump’s energy policies have impacted the region. Several other papers from the project are under review, and a book is under way.
Lewin’s previous research project, based on an ethnography of punk subculture, examined how young people form their identities, and how they use culture to solve the social and economic problems they face. His chapter “The Ideology and Practice of Authenticity in Punk Subculture” examines how youth pursue “authentic” experiences in a mass cultural milieu they perceive as “fake.” “Embodying the Postmodern Self” builds on that analysis by showing how youth determine “who they really are” in a world that inundates them with competing identity options. “Propagandhi and the Politics of Subcultural Resistance,” in a different vein, explores how youth protest social injustice through subcultures. And Lewin’s most recent book chapter, forthcoming in Studies in the Social Construction of Identity and Authenticity (Routledge), examines how white youth claim punk identity to frame themselves as unique at a time when society has begun to associate middle-class whiteness with cultural emptiness.
In addition to his teaching and research, Lewin serves as the Sociology Department’s Director of Undergraduate Studies and its steward to the United Faculty of Florida. He also co-organizes FAU’s Workshop on Sociological Research with Phillip Hough.
Lewin, Philip. Forthcoming. “‘Don’t Call Me White’ (Or Middle-Class): Constructing an Authentic Identity in Punk Subculture.” Pp. TBD in Studies on the Social Construction of Identity and Authenticity, edited by J. Patrick Williams and Kaylan Schwarz. London, UK: Routledge.
Lewin, Philip. Forthcoming. “Reaching the Boiling Point: Energy and Climate Policy under the Trump Administration.” Pp. TBD in The Future of U.S. Empire in the Americas: The Trump Administration and Beyond, edited by Timothy M. Gill. New York, NY: Routledge.
Lewin, Philip. 2019. “‘I Just Keep My Mouth Shut’: The Demobilization of Environmental Protest in Central Appalachia.” Social Currents 6(6): 534-552.
Lewin, Philip.  2019. “‘Coal is not just a Job; It’s a Way of Life’: The Cultural Politics of Coal Production in Central Appalachia.” Social Problems 66(1): 51-68.
Lewin, Philip. 2017. “Fighting King Coal: The Challenges to Micromobilization in Central Appalachia.” Contemporary Sociology 46(6): 657-65.
Lewin, Philip. 2016. “The Public Engagement Industry and the Future of Democratic Praxis.” Trajectories 28(1): 26-30.
Lewin, Philip. 2015. “Embodying the Postmodern Self: Ecstatic Ritual as a New Mode of Youth Identity Work.” Studies in Symbolic Interaction 44: 161-195.
Lewin, Philip. 2014. “Political Participation, Demobilization, and the Problem of Community Embeddedness.” States, Power, and Societies 20(1): 1-6.
Lewin, Philip. 2013. “Scenes, Subcultures and the 21st Century.” Symbolic Interaction 36(3): 365-369.
Lewin, Philip and Tim Gill. 2012. “Propagandhi and the Politics of Subcultural Resistance.” Pp. 391-415 in The Art of Social Critique: Painting Mirrors of Social Life, edited by Shawn Bingham. Plymouth, UK: Lexington Books.
Lewin, Philip and J. Patrick Williams. 2009. “The Ideology and Practice of Authenticity in Punk Subculture.” Pp. 65-83 in Authenticity in Self, Culture and Society, edited by Phillip Vannini and J. Patrick Williams. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate.