Mr Paul Brook

Associate Professor of Sociology of Work and EmploymentPaul Brook

Contact details

  • Tel: +44 (0)116 252 5647
  • Email:
  • Office: Room 2.07, Brookfield House and New Build, Brookfield
  • Office hours: Appointments via email only

Personal details

I joined the University of Leicester in 2011 having previously been a Senior Lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University Business School and before that a Tutor at the Open University. Prior to this I was a researcher and speechwriter for the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers (USDAW) in Manchester. I studied at the College of St. Mark and St. John, Plymouth and the University of Leeds.

Professional roles and membership

  • Associate Editor: Work in the Global Economy (2020-)
  • Editor: Work, Employment and Society (2015 - 2017)
  • Editorial Board: New Technology, Work and Employment (2014 - present)
  • Associate Editor: International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy (2010 - 2014)
  • Editorial Board: Work, Employment and Society (2012 - 2014)
  • Academic Fellow: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (2012 - 20)
  • Visiting Research Fellow: Manchester Metropolitan University Business School (2011 - 2014)
  • Secretary: British Universities Industrial Relations Association (BUIRA) (2007 - 2010)
  • Teaching

    Administrative responsibilities

    Co-Director, Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures (CSWEF)


    My research interests are in labour process analysis and theory, sociology of service work, emotional labour and the political economy of work. I am interested in all forms of service work, but especially medics’ experience of work and employment in the National Health Service (UK). My other interests include variegated capitalist analysis, public sociology and service worker trade unionism.


    I would be interested in supervising doctoral studies in the following areas:

    • Medical labour process and clinical employment
    • Any area of labour process analysis and/or labour process theory
    • Agency labour and variegated capitalism

    • Service work
    • Service worker trade unionism and/or resistance
    • Emotional labour and emotion work
    • Public sociology

    Current doctoral supervision

    • Desmond Gargan: The experience of contingent academic labour in Republic of Ireland higher education.
    • Mable Sikanyiti: Women’s experience of career in the Zambian banking sector
    • Salma Baz: The work and career experiences of BAME doctors working in NHS England
    • Amy DeBruycker: Women’s speciality choices among junior doctors in the NHS
    • Nitu Gupta: Precarious academic labour in UK Higher Education.
    • Jennifer Cartwright: Emotional labour among university students on employment placement in England.

    Past doctoral supervision

    • Holmes, Cristian (2019). The Nature, Form and Purpose of Contemporary Professional Associations: An Extended Case Study of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. University of Leicester.
    • Whittaker, Xanthe (2019). Breaking the News: Digital Transformations of Newspaper Journalism. A Labour Process Analysis. University of Leicester.
    • Fei, Yue (2016). Women Managers’ Careers in a Chinese Commercial Bank.  University of Leicester.
    • Murray, Jill (2016). Exploring Generative Mechanisms in Retail Managers’ Learning. Manchester Metropolitan University.
    • Küppers, Tanja (2016). The Role of Organisational Culture When Shaping a Shared Service Organisation into a Lean System. University of Gloucestershire.
    • Purcell, Christina (2015). Temporary Agency Workers in the French Car Industry: Working Under a New Variant of ‘Despotism’ in the Labour Process. Manchester Metropolitan University.
    • Jefferies, Jefferies (2014). From the Centrally Planned Economy to Capitalist Globalisation: How Economists Underestimated the Growth of the World Market. Manchester Metropolitan University.
    • Smyth, Stewart (2013). Social Housing and Accountability: Towards a Framework for Analysing ‘Critical Public Accountability. Manchester Metropolitan University.



    Carter, Bob and Brook, Paul (2021) Las clases, el proceso de trabajo y la explotación. In M Atzeni, R Elber, C Marticorena, J Montero and J Soul (eds) Clase, Proceso de Trabajo y Reproducción Social: Ampliando las Perspectivas de los Estudios Laborales, Ceil Libros, Colección Proyectos: Buenos Aires, ARG.

    Purcell, Christina and Brook, Paul (2020). ‘At least I’m my own boss!’ Explaining consent, coercion and resistance in platform work. Work, Employment and Society First published online: 5 November 2020.

    Beck, Vanessa and Brook, Paul (2020). Solidarities in and through work in an age of extremes. Work, Employment and Society 34(1): 3-17. First Published online: 23 January 2020.

    Brook, Paul and Purcell, Christina (2017), ‘The resistible rise of the temporary employment industry in France (1950-2013)’, Economic and Industrial Democracy. First published online: June 6, 2017

    Beck, V., Brook, P., Carter B., Clark. I, Danford, A., Hammer, N., Kanji, S. and Simms. M (2016) ‘Work, Employment and Society sans frontieres: extending and deepening our reach’. Work, Employment and Society, 30(2).

    Brook, Paul (2013), ‘Emotional labour and the living personality at work: labour power, materialist subjectivity and the dialogical self’, special issue on ‘Thirty Years after Hochschild’s Managed Heart: Exploring the Commodity Frontier’, Culture and Organization, 19(4).

    Brook, Paul, Koch, Gertraud, and Wittel, Andreas (2013), ‘Thirty years after Hochschild’s Managed Heart: exploring the commodity frontier’, Culture and Organization, 19(4).

    Brook, Paul and Darlington, Ralph (2013), ‘Partisan, scholarly and active: arguments for an organic public sociology of work’, Work, Employment and Society, Vo. 27, No. 3: 240-251.

    Brook, Paul (2013), ‘Selling feelings for a wage: a labor process perspective on emotional labor power, its indeterminacy and incomplete commodification’. In Gertraud Koch & Stefanie Everke-Buchanan (Eds.), Pathways to Empathy: New Studies on Commodification, Emotional Labor, and Time Binds, Frankfurt, Germany: Campus Verlag, pp. 85-104.

    Brook, Paul (2011), ‘Learning the feeling rules: exploring Hochschild’s thesis on the alienating experience of learning and performing emotional labour’.  In Peter Jones (Ed.), Marxism and Education: Renewing the Dialogue, Pedagogy and Culture, New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Purcell, Christina; Brook, Paul & Lucas, Rosemary (2011), ‘Between keeping your head down and trying to get noticed: agency workers in French car assembly plants’, Management Revue: The International Review of Management Studies, Vol. 22, No. 2, pp. 169-187.

    Brook, Paul (2010), ‘An indivisible union? Assessing the marriage of Hochschild’s emotional labour concept and labour process theory’, International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, Vol. 4, No. 3/4, pp. 326-342.

    Brook, Paul (2009) 'In critical defence of 'emotional labour': Refuting Bolton's critique of Hochschild's concept', Work Employment and Society, Vol. 23, No. 3, pp.531-548.

    Brook, Paul (2009) 'The Alienated Heart: Hochschild's emotional labour thesis and the anti-capitalist politics of alienation', Capital and Class, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp.7-31.

    Brook, Paul (2007) ‘Customer oriented militants? A critique of the customer oriented bureaucracy theory on front-line service worker collectivism’, Work, Employment and Society, 21:2, pp. 363-374.

    Brook, Paul and Pioch, Elke (1996) ‘The strange case of home shopping and the Single European Market’, Journal of Retailing and Consumer Studies, 3(3): 175-182.

    Pioch, Elke and Brook, Paul (1996) ‘The integration of retailing into the Single European Market: Foundering in the wake of neo-liberalism in Fred Burton, Mo Yamin and Stephen Young (Eds.), International Business and Europe in Transition, Basingstoke: Macmillan Press. pp. 65-85.

    Malina, Danusia and Brook, Paul (1996) ‘A re-managed heart in retail change’ in Ann McGoldrick (Ed.), Cases in Human Resource Management, London: Pitman Publishing, pp. 73-81.

    Pioch, Elke and Brook, Paul (1992) ‘Shopping sans frontières? European Integration and home shopping’, European Business and Economic Development, 1(2): 7-12.

    Open access publications

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    School of Business
    University of Leicester
    University Road
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