Burawoy followed this work with similar ethnographic work in factories across the Socialist Bloc, and wrote The Politics of Production based on his experience. Burawoy’s work happened to coincide with the unraveling of the Soviet Union, and in 1992 he published The Radiant Past, examining changing factory regimes as socialist production began to transform into capitalism after 1989. 

Burawoy is a staunch defender of the “extended case method”—if you want to understand how human beings live, he contends, then you should go out into the field and ask them—repeatedly, over time, and in different contexts. In his books Ethnography Unbound and The Extended Case Method, Burawoy has challenged sociology as a discipline to embrace “public sociology,” a form of inquiry that makes sociological work accessible to nonacademic audiences, and includes members of that population in the process of producing knowledge collectively.

Using this method in his own case studies, Burawoy has had a unique vantage point to study what he calls the “four great transformations” of our epoch—decolonization, the construction of socialism, the decline of Fordism, and the collapse of socialism. More recently, he has turned his ethnographer’s eye inward, to offer a critical sociological account of the functioning of the research university under contemporary capitalism.

Join your fellow undergraduates for supper and an informal conversation with Michael Burawoy. The dinner is co-sponsored by the Wells Scholars Program.

While on campus, Michael Burawoy will deliver twoPatten Lectures:

Tuesday, March 27, 7:30-9 p.m.: Universities in Crisis
Thursday, March 29, 7:30-9 p.m.: Marxism Engages Bourdieu

Both lectures will be held in Presidents Hall, Franklin Hall, and are free and open to the public.

Event Registration Policy

HHC small-group programs labeled "SIGN-UP REQUIRED" have limited space, are open only to IU undergraduates, and require advance sign-up. You are welcome to bring friends. However, anyone who plans to attend an HHC small-group program must be an IU undergraduate and must sign up.

You may sign up for small group programs by filling out the form linked above.

CANCELLATIONS: If you must cancel your reservation, please email or phone Becca Creath (bcreath@indiana.edu; 812-855-5296), but please try to do so in a timely fashion so that someone on the wait list can take advantage of the opportunity you must miss. We understand there are emergency situations; but in other cases, please let us know before the day of the program if you must cancel, as it is often difficult to reach those on the wait list on the day of a program.