John Martin (1988)

Inspired by the new class theory of Gouldner, I came to Berkeley in 1987 to study with Erik Olin Wright, who had been described by my Columbia-school mentors as a Marxist but a good sociologist. Upon visiting, however, Wright informed me that he was going back to Wisconsin, where the average daily temperature was a good 400 degrees colder (Celsius). Since students at Berkeley seemed so jolly, and I found an advisor who liked to talk almost as much as I did, I ended up staying.

Christopher Rhomberg (1988)

As a graduate student, I found Berkeley sociology's long traditions of intellectual criticism and social engagement to be inspiring, sometimes frustrating, never boring. Sociology at Berkeley offered an alternative to the model of social scientists as professional monopolists of expertise and purveyors of the same to privileged elites. Instead, the department preserves an ideal of sociological knowledge that addresses, and enlarges, the democratic public sphere.


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