1987

Joshua Gamson (1987)

I came to Berkeley from Boston, where I'd worked for a couple of years after graduating from Swarthmore College. Coming from a sociology family, I was ambivalent and vaguely embarrassed about the Sociology PhD part of the plan, but I figured it was warmer in California, physically and culturally, and I liked the idea of being both learned and tanned. It turned out to be a great place for me. I immediately adored my cohort, even though I was scared of how smart everybody was, and I was impressed by how often people were in the mood to drink. The faculty was accessible and interesting.

Ernest Brooks (1987)

As a political sociologist, I am interested in the operation of actually-existing democracies, including processes related to public opinion, elections, and the level of legitimacy of, and degree of comprehensiveness in, welfare state policies. A good deal of contemporary political-sociological work is informed by the assumption that comparative-historical variation between welfare states, especially with reference to their effects on public social provision and civil rights/liberties, has far-reaching political and policy-relevant implications.

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