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Symposia and Special Events

2012 - Michigan at 80 Symposium: Advancing Research Methods in the Discipline

In its 80-year history, the Department of Sociology at the University of Michigan has served as a leader in the production of empirical studies that have affected the worlds of policy, business, and community organizing, aside from the discipline, itself. Although many factors have played a role in helping the department to achieve this level of success, one critical factor has been the department’s historic commitment to rigorous methodological training. To commemorate eighty years of advancing methodological insight and excellence in Sociology, a selection of the department’s senior faculty who have been leaders in developing and applying specific methods for sociological analysis will address the following questions:

  1. Why did you commit to your chosen method for sociological investigation?
  2. What has been your intellectual and scholarly experience at Michigan in pursuing research with your chosen method?
  3. What is your sense of the present and future possibilities and challenges for pursuits in your area of methodological specialty in Michigan sociology?

The 80th birthday symposium deals with these very issues. The panelists are:

  • Mark Chesler, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
  • Reynolds Farley, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Research Professor Emeritus of Population Studies
  • Max Heirich, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
  • Albert Hermalin, Professor Emeritus of Sociology
  • James House, Angus Campbell Distinguished University Professor or Survey Research, Sociology, and Publich Policy and Research Professor of Epidemiology
  • Gayl Ness, Professor Emeritus of Sociology

Click the following link to see a video of the event

Michigan at 80: Advancing Research Methods in the Discipline

2018 - Mark Mizruchi Collegiate Professorship Lecture - The Fracturing of American Political Life

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.

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.

Click the following link to see a video of the event

The Fracturing of American Political Life