Bruce Western is a Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. He is the author of Punishment and Inequality in America, a study of the growth and social impact of the American penal system. His first book, Between Class and Market, examined the development and decline of labor unions in the postwar industrialized democracies.

Western taught at Princeton from 1993 to 2007 and received his Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles.