Peter is the Deputy Head of School (Research and Innovation) with key responsibilities for developing and implementing strategies to enhance the research environment and culture in the School in ways that align with RMIT’s visions and strategic aims. Peter is the Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Co-ordinator for the School of Education.
Peter is a social theorist/social researcher who has published extensively on young people, the practice of youth studies, social theory and globalisation.
His research interests currently cover the following areas:
Peter has an extensive research background in youth studies and an ongoing research interest in the ways in which youth transitions – and the family, employment, study and peer relationships shaped by these processes of transition – are being remade by the emergence of a globalised knowledge economy.
In 2015 he co-edited a major collection titled A Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century. The collection explores the challenges and opportunities faced by young people in an often dangerous 21st century. In an increasingly globalised world these challenges and opportunities include those associated with widening inequalities, precarious labour markets, the commodification of education, and the hopes for democracy. Drawing on contemporary critical social theories and diverse methodologies, contributors to the collection, who are established and emerging scholars from the Americas, Europe, and Asia/Pacific, open up discussions about what a critical youth studies can contribute to community, policy and academic debates about these challenges and opportunities.
His 2014 book The Moral Geographies of Children, Young People and Food: Beyond Jamie’s School Dinners, takes UK celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s campaign for better school meals, presented so powerfully in the TV series Jamie's School Dinners, as a starting point for examining often idealised ideas about parenting, young people's nutrition, health and well-being, and public health 'crises' such as obesity. The authors show how these debates are always about the moral project of the self, the types of people we are and should aspire to be, and the roles that food can play in that ongoing project.
New work ethics
This is a research program exploring the emergence of new work identities, obligations, and responsibilities in a globalised risk economy, and the ways these concerns find expression in various concerns for professionalisation, work-life balance, work related stress, and the idea that the self should imagine itself as an enterprise.
Aspects of this research area have been published in a book The Struggle for the Body, Mind and Soul of AFL Footballers (and a number of articles) that emerged from an Australian Football League (AFL) funded research project (2004/5) titled: Getting the Balance Right: Professionalism, Performance, Prudentialism and Playstations in the Life of AFL Footballers.
His book The Self as Enterprise: Foucault and the Spirit of 21st Century Capitalism suggests that 21st century, flexible capitalism creates new demands for those who work, and those who want to work, to acknowledge that all aspects of a worker’s life have come to be seen as performance related. These demands suggest that the cultivation of the self as an enterprise is the life-long activity that should give meaning, purpose and direction to a life.
Funded research projects
Effective educational settings and practices that support the development of young people (8 – 12 years) in Primary School Networks. Smart Geelong Region/Local Learning Employment Network
Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant (Partner Organisation Mission Australia) Capacity Building and Social Enterprise: Individual and Organisational Transformation in Transitional Labour Market Programs
Defining and Understanding intoxication and drunkenness: the individual’s response, Drinkwise Australia and Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing
’What a Great Night’: The cultural drivers of young Australian’s alcohol use’, Drinkwise Australia and Commonwealth Department of Health and
AFL Research program: Getting the Balance Right: Professionalism, Performance, Prudentialism and Playstations in the Life of AFL Footballers.
Peter is a registered research supervisor.
Areas of research supervision include:
- young people and education
- training and work
- identity, democracy and enterprise
- health and well-being
- Foucault, governmentality and care of the self
- Bauman, liquid modernity and ambivalence
- interpretive sociologies.
- 1998 Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University
- 1990 Bachelor of Arts (First Class Honours), Deakin University
- 1989 Bachelor of Arts (Education), Deakin University
- Kelly, P. (2018). Three notes on a political economy of youth In: Journal of Youth Studies, 21, 1283 - 1304
- Kamp, A.,Kelly, P. (2018). Critical Childhood and Youth Studies In: Handbuch Kindheits- und Jugendsoziologie, Springer VS, Weisbaden, Germany
- Kelly, P. (2017). Growing up after the GFC: Responsibilisation and mortgaged futures In: Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 38, 57 - 69
- Kelly, P.,Pike, J. (2017). Is neo-Liberal capitalism eating itself, or its Young? In: Neo-Liberalism and Austerity: The Moral Economies of Young People's Health and Well-Being, Palgrave Macmillan, London, United Kingdom
- Kelly, P. (2017). Young People's Marginalisation: Unsettling What Agency and Structure Mean After Neo-Liberalism In: Neo-Liberalism and Austerity: The Moral Economies of Young People's Health and Well-Being, Palgrave Macmillan, London, United Kingdom
- Montero, K.,Kelly, P. (2016). Young people and the aesthetics of health promotion: beyond reason, rationality and risk, Routledge, Oxford, United Kingdom
- Howie, L.,Kelly, P. (2016). Sociologies of terrorism: Holographic metaphors for qualitative research In: Journal of Sociology, 52, 418 - 432
- Kamp, A.,Kelly, P. (2015). ANTsy youth In: A Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden/Boston
- Kelly, P.,Kamp, A. (2015). An 'untimely' youth studies? In: A Critical Youth Studies for the 21st Century, Brill Academic Publishers, Leiden/Boston
- Harrison, L.,Kelly, P.,Campbell, P. (2015). Food and passion: Technologies of self transformation in Jamie's kitchen In: Food Pedagogies, Ashgate Publishing, Farnham, United Kingdom
10 PhD Current Supervisions
- Non-attendance in the middle years in Whittlesea and what to do about it. Funded by: Collier Charitable Grant 2017 from (2018 to 2018)
- How art-based social enterprise helps marginalised young people. Funded by: 010-ARC Discovery Projects 2017 from (2017 to 2021)