Marc W. Steinberg
Sydenham C. Parsons Professor & Department Chair of Sociology
Contact & Office Hours
Wright Hall 205
Ph.D., University of Michigan
M.A., B.A., Johns Hopkins University
Marc W. Steinberg has a doctorate in sociology and a bachelor's and master's in history. His work focuses on class conflict and contentious action. Steinberg is also currently engaged in research with Patricia Ewick (Clark University) on the dynamics of collective identity in social movements. He and Ewick are engaged in a long-term case study of a chapter of the Voice of the Faithful, an activist group of self-described ‘faithful Catholics’ who organized in the wake of the Boston 2002 priest sexual abuse crisis. In this study they analyze the dilemmas of what it means to be a challenger within an institution.
He has recently published on law, the labor process and workplace control in Victorian England. In his book England’s Great Transformation: Law, Labor and the Industrial Revolution (University of Chicago Press), he analyzes how employers in diverse industries relied on labor law to discipline and control their workers. He also offers a critique and alternative account of Karl Polanyi’s thesis on the rise of the market society and the response to it in 19th-century England in Polanyi’s classic The Great Transformation. This research more generally explores how historical materialism and historical institutionalism can be woven together for a more encompassing analyses of economic transformation and class contention.
His early research concentrated on collective action, historical class formation and discourse in 19th-century English working-class history. This included his book Fighting Words: Working-Class Formation, Collective Action and Discourse in Early Nineteenth-Century England (Cornell University Press).
In addition to his monographs, Steinberg has published in a variety of journals including, the American Journal of Sociology, The International Review of Social History, the Journal of Historical Sociology, Mobilization and Theory and Society.
Steinberg enjoys endorphins and alternative rock music. He spends time torturing himself on exercise equipment and listening to alternative rock. His current favorite acts include the Cold War Kids, Kool Stuff Katie, The Pack A.D. and Reno Divorce.
England’s Great Transformation: Law, Labor and the Industrial Revolution (University of Chicago Press, 2016).
With Patricia A. Ewick. “The Dilemmas of Social Movement Identity and the Case of the Voice of the Faithful,” Mobilization. 2014. 19(2): 209-27.
“Marx, Formal Subsumption and the Law,” Theory and Society, 2010, 39(2): 173-202.
“Capitalist Development, the Labor Process and the Law: The Case of the Victorian English Pottery Industry.” American Journal of Sociology. 2003, 109(2): 445-95.
Fighting Words: Working-Class Formation, Collective Action and Discourse in Early Nineteenth-Century England (Cornell University Press, 1999).
“The Talk and Back Talk of Collective Action: A Dialogic Analysis of Repertoires coming of Collective Action Discourses Among Nineteenth-Century English Cotton Spinners,” American Journal of Sociology, 1999, 105(3): 736-80.