Paul Johnston (1983)

Director, Citizenship Project in Salinas and Associate Researcher, UC, Santa Cruz.

I became a freshman college dropout on the occasion of Kent and Jackson State in 1970, worked for the UFW, was drafted by & then expelled from the US army, then worked for SEIU for 9 years. All this left me strangely fascinated with Habermas, strikes, & the difference between public & private sectors. Fired for recalcitrance by SEIU in 1982, I hurriedly earned a PhD in sociology at Berkeley in 1988, then joined the faculty @ Yale in 1989. My big regret re: Berkeley was my failure to stay & feast at length upon that sumptuous sociological smorgasbord.

At Yale I directed the organizational behavior program, finished my book Success While Others Fail, studied urban, organizational, educational & political sociology, and worked in the administration of John Daniels, New Haven's first African-American mayor. After the passage of Proposition 187 in CA I took another leave, this time to study labor union response to the attack on immigrants. One year turned into two and then to resignation from Yale, as my family decided to stay here in our native California.

Now I enjoy the luxury of working part-time as director of the Salinas-based Citizenship Project (a labor-led immigrant community-based workers' center in Salinas CA), and part-time as a grant-funded associate researcher at UC Santa Cruz. I'm wrapping up my study of the convergence of the new labor movement and the emergence of citizenship among Mexican immigrants in California (tentatively, Citizens of the Future)' and don't know what comes next.

Dissertation Title: 
The Poltics of Public Work: A Comparative Study of Labor Relations in the Public Sector
Dissertation Book Title: 
Success while others fail : social movement unionism and the public workplace
Ithaca, N.Y.