The University of Michigan, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts and Organizational Studies Department are pleased to announce the Robert Cooley Angell Collegiate Professorship in Sociology Inaugural Lecture: The Fracturing of American Political Life, given by Mark Mizruchi.

Mark will deliver the lecture on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 4pm in Weiser Hall, 10th floor. The Lecture and reception are open to the public.

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.

Mark S. Mizruchi is the Robert Cooley Angell Collegiate Professor of Sociology, the Barger Family Professor of Organizational Studies, and Professor of Business Administration at the University of Michigan. Professor Mizruchi's research focuses on the economic and political behavior of large American corporations as well as the methods of social network analysis. His primary current project is a study of the changing nature of the American corporate elite, from the period immediately after World War II to the present. He is also involved in a study of the globalization of American banking and a study of methods for measuring the effects of social network ties. He teaches courses on economic sociology, sociological theory, social networks, and statistical methods.