Professor Mark Mizruchi has been named the Robert Cooley Angell Collegiate Professor of Sociology. In recognition of this honor, on February 7, 2018, he gave the inaugural lecture: The Fracturing of American Political Life, viewable above.
About the Lecture:
Much has been written about the increasing fragmentation of American society, and the polarization of our politics. Although several explanations have been offered to account for this polarization, I argue that something else is at fault: the decline of leadership among the heads of large American corporations. Through its relative moderation and pragmatism, the corporate elite helped to keep extremist elements at bay during the post-World War II period, an era of historically low inequality and high economic growth. In the 1970s, however, these elites, facing a major crisis, allied themselves with the far right groups they had previously shunned. Although this allowed large corporations to achieve several goals, it opened the way for extremists to gain control of the Republican Party. In aligning itself with traditional conservatives, the corporate elite created a situation that it can no longer control. The result is the political extremism that we observe today.
Read more about Professor Mizruchi's research on his website here.