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Sewell, William

For more than six decades, William Hamilton Sewell (1909–2001) served as a guiding presence in the development of sociology as an academic discipline. As a distinguished scholar, his research regarding the relationship between one's background and level of achievement remains one of the most remarkable sociological investigations ever conducted. Sewell was born on November 27, 1909, in Perrinton, Michigan. Initially, he aspired to become a physician, but in following his father's footsteps, he first became a licensed pharmacist. At Michigan State University he completed a premed curriculum and was accepted to several medical schools. However, rather than pursue medicine, Sewell opted instead to study sociology, graduating from Michigan State with a bachelor of arts degree in 1933 and earning a master of arts degree the ...

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