Professor of Sociology
Erik Larson received his undergraduate degree from Hamline University and did his graduate work at the University of Minnesota. He is an associate professor of Sociology and co-director of Macalester’s Legal Studies Program. His subfields of interest include sociology of law, political sociology, economic sociology, and comparative-historical sociology. His research examines how global and national forces influence the emergence and transformation of legal, economic, and political institutions. While a large portion of his research has been based in Fiji, he has also conducted research in China, Ghana, Guatemala, Iceland, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Switzerland, and Taiwan. Long-term projects include understanding the possibilities for the rule of law and reconciliation in the aftermath of coups; investigating the nexus between the global indigenous rights movement and national and regional indigenous rights movements; assessing national anti-corruption initiatives as a market moralizing project; examining the establishment and operation of stock exchanges; and analyzing political contention concerning economic affirmative action policies targeted on the basis of purported indigeneity. As part of his research, Larson has collaborated with Macalester students to study the Ainu rights movement in Japan in relation to the global indigenous rights movement, to investigate indigenous bilingual education policies in Guatemala, and to examine factors associated with school-wide performance on standardized tests in Minnesota.
BA Hamline University 1992
MA University of Minnesota 1997
PhD University of Minnesota 2004