Michael Burawoy
Born (1947-06-15) 15 June 1947 (age 76)
Academic background
Alma mater
ThesisMaking Out on the Shop Floor[1] (1976)
Doctoral advisorWilliam Julius Wilson[1]
Academic work
School or traditionMarxism
InstitutionsUniversity of California, Berkeley
Doctoral students
Notable works
Notable ideas
InfluencedLuke Bretherton[11]
Websiteburawoy.berkeley.edu Edit this at Wikidata

Michael Burawoy (born 15 June 1947) is a sociologist working within Marxist social theory, best known as the leading proponent of public sociology and the author of Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism—a study on the sociology of industry[12] that has been translated into a number of languages.

Burawoy is a Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley.[13][10] He was president of the American Sociological Association in 2004.[14] In 2006–2010, he was one of the vice-presidents for the Committee of National Associations of the International Sociological Association (ISA).[15] In the XVII ISA World Congress of Sociology he was elected the 17th President of the International Sociological Association (ISA) for the period 2010–2014.[16]


Burawoy was born on 15 June 1947. Graduating as a mathematics student from the University of Cambridge in 1968, Burawoy went on to pursue postgraduate study in the newly independent African nation of Zambia, while simultaneously working as a researcher for Anglo American PLC. Completing a master's degree at the University of Zambia in 1972, Burawoy enrolled as a doctoral student at the University of Chicago, finishing a sociology dissertation with an ethnography of Chicago industrial workers, later to become Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism.[12][10]

Burawoy joined the Department of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley in 1976 as an assistant professor.[10] He served as Chair of the Department of Sociology for 1996-98, and 2000-02.[7]

Aside from Burawoy's sociological study of the industrial workplace in Zambia, Burawoy has studied industrial workplaces in Chicago, Hungary, and post-Soviet Russia.[10] His method of choice is usually participant observation, more specifically ethnography.[17] He has further expanded the extended case method.[10] For his book The Radiant Past: Ideology and Reality in Hungary's Road to Capitalism (1992) he worked as a furnace operator in a Hungarian steel plant.[13] Based on his studies of the workplace he has looked into the nature of postcolonialism, the organization of state socialism, and the problems in the transition from socialism.[10]

In more recent times, Burawoy has moved away from observing factories to looking at his own place of work—the university—to consider the way sociology is taught to students and how it is put into the public domain. His work on public sociology is most prominently shown in his presidential address to the American Sociological Association in 2004, where he divides sociology into four separate (yet overlapping) categories: public sociology, policy sociology (which has an extra-academic audience), professional sociology (which addresses an academic audience familiar with theoretical and methodological frameworks common to the discipline of sociology), and lastly critical sociology which, like public sociology, produces reflexive knowledge but which is only available to an academic audience, like professional sociology.[14]

Selected works


Author (or co-author)

Collaborative and edited books



  1. ^ a b Burawoy, Michael (December 1976). Making Out on the Shop Floor (PhD thesis). University of Chicago. pp. iii–iv. OCLC 4511385. ProQuest 302822488.
  2. ^ Hollands, Robert; Stanley, Liz (2009). "Rethinking 'Current Crisis' Arguments: Gouldner and the Legacy of Critical Sociology" (PDF). Sociological Research Online. 14 (1). para. 2.7. doi:10.5153/sro.1839. ISSN 1360-7804. S2CID 73574883.
  3. ^ Matić, Davorka (2017). "The Calling of Sociology: Beyond Value-Detached Professionalism and Partisan Activism". Revija za sociologiju. 47 (2): 179. doi:10.5613/rzs.47.2.3. ISSN 0350-154X.
  4. ^ Aidnik, Martin (2015). "A Sociology for the 21st century? An Enquiry into Public Sociology Reading Zygmunt Bauman". Studies of Transition States and Societies. 7 (2): 9. ISSN 1736-8758. Retrieved 23 March 2021.
  5. ^ a b Varela, Paula (2019). "Manufacturing Consent: A Concern that Lasted 40 Years; Interview with Michael Burawoy". New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry. 10 (2): 28–29. hdl:11336/119533. ISSN 1715-6718. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Michael Burawoy". ISA Past Presidents.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "CURRICULUM VITAE" (PDF). MICHAEL BURAWOY. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  8. ^ Milkman, Ruth (31 August 1981). The Reproduction of Job Segregation by Sex: A Study of the Changing Sexual Division of Labor in the Auto and Electrical Manufacturing Industries in the 1940s (PhD thesis). University of California-Berkeley. OCLC 223010952. ProQuest 303132873.
  9. ^ Sherman, Rachel Ellen (August 2003). Class Acts: Producing and Consuming Luxury Service in Hotels (PhD thesis). University of California-Berkeley. OCLC 57586295. ProQuest 305343424.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Burawoy, Michael (31 July 2021). "Living Sociology: On Being in the World One Studies". Annual Review of Sociology. 47 (1): 17–40. doi:10.1146/annurev-soc-072320-101856. ISSN 0360-0572. S2CID 233628256.
  11. ^ Seth, Dev (7 November 2019). "Luke Bretherton: Coming to Judgment in a World of Difference". University Scholars Program. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University. Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  12. ^ a b Giddens, Anthony (1981). "Review of Manufacturing Consent: Changes in the Labor Process Under Monopoly Capitalism". American Journal of Sociology. 87 (1): 192–194. doi:10.1086/227430. ISSN 0002-9602. JSTOR 2778550. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b Friedlander, Blaine (29 September 2003). "Michael Burawoy, sociologist who studies labor on shop floor, will give the 2003 Polson Memorial Lecture Oct. 3". Cornell Chronicle. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  14. ^ a b Burawoy, Michael (2005). "2004 American Sociological Association Presidential address: For public sociology*". The British Journal of Sociology. 56 (2): 259–294. doi:10.1111/j.1468-4446.2005.00059.x. PMID 15926908.
  15. ^ "Past Executive Committees". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 26 January 2022.
  16. ^ "ISA Presidents". International Sociological Association. Retrieved 25 July 2012.
  17. ^ See his collaborative work on: Ethnography Unbound: Power and Resistance in the Modern Metropolis (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991) and Global Ethnography: Forces, Connections and Imaginations in a Postmodern World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000).
Professional and academic associations Preceded byWilliam T. Bielby President of the American Sociological Association 2004 Succeeded byTroy Duster Preceded byMichel Wieviorka President of the International Sociological Association 2010–2014 Succeeded byMargaret Abraham