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The Fracturing of American Political Life

Professor Mark Mizruchi, Robert Cooley Angell Collegiate Professorship in Sociology, Inaugural Lecture
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
4:10-5:30 PM
10th Floor Off Campus Location
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 monster that it can no longer control. The result is the political extremism that we observe today.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Weiser Hall
Cost: None
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Graduate, Sociology, Undergraduate
Source: Happening @ Michigan from The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, Department of Sociology, Organizational Studies Program