2018—Michael Burawoy

Photo of Michael Burawoy
Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley

Michael Burawoy is one of the world’s leading sociologists and ethnographers of work. By studying industrial workplaces through participant observation—in places as diverse as Zambia, Chicago, Hungary, and Russia—he has sought to develop general theories about the nature of human labor, the despotic operation of the industrial workplace, and the relative ability of workers to resist and consent to their shop floor subordination and the imperatives of production. He developed these ideas in two of his early books: Manufacturing Consent (1979) and The Politics of Production (1985). More recently, he has explored how the university as a workplace has sociologically reproduced certain kinds of intellectual production.