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Erik Olin Wright is a radical sociologist working within the Marxist tradition. Raised in a family of academics in Kansas, Wright studied history and social science at Harvard and Oxford University before entering the sociology program at Berkeley in the early 1970s. Upon completing his PhD degree in 1976, he secured a position in the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin, where he has been ever since. Wright thus made his appearance on the intellectual scene in the mid-1970s, along with an entire generation of young academics who were radicalized by the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. What is remarkable about his career is not its initiation in Marxist debates—in this, it is not unlike many other careers of the “generation of ...

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