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William was raised in Brazil where he participated in the student and later the labor movement, as an activist in the metal workers union. After moving to the United States he worked as an ironworker and was also active in his local union, holding various leadership positions. He received a BA in Historical Studies from Empire State College, State University of New York (SUNY), an MA and PhD in Historical Studies and Political Science from the Graduate Faculty-New School for Social Research. His major areas of research are social and labor movements in Brazil and in the United States, specifically examining the intersection of class and political power in a historical perspective. He has published articles and book chapters both in the US and in Brazil, exploring labor organizing, globalization, education and working class political participation. He has recently published the book New York Longshoremen, Class and Power on the Docks (University of Florida Press, 2010). He is currently conducting research that explores the problems of class and consciousness illustrated by the emergence of conservative working class organizations in Brazil over time. He has also been responsible for the organization of the Labor Studies International Program Brazil, Conflict and Social Justice, since 2005.