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Michèle Lamont

Faculty Associate & Seminar Co-chair


Michèle Lamont

Michèle Lamont is Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies and the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies at Harvard University. At the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies (CES), she co-chairs the Seminar on Social Exclusion and Inclusion.

An influential cultural sociologist who studies boundaries and inequality, she has tackled topics such as dignity, respect, stigma, racism, class and racial boundaries, and how we evaluate social worth across societies. Her most recent book is Seeing Others: How Recognition Works and How It Can Heal a Divided World (forthcoming with Simon and Schuster, September 2023). Her other books include: Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class (University of Chicago Press, 1992), The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration (Harvard University Press, 2000), How Professors Think: Inside the Curious World of Academic Judgment (Harvard University Press, 2009), as well as the co-authored Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil and Israel (Princeton University Press, 2016).

After studying with Pierre Bourdieu and others in Paris in the early eighties, Lamont emerged as a pioneer in cultural and comparative sociology, helping to define these fields as we know them today. Her many awards include the C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems for The Dignity of Working Men, the 2014 Guttenberg Award, the 2017 Erasmus Prize, and honorary doctorates from six countries. She served as President of the American Sociological Association in 2016, was a Carnegie Fellow in 2021-2022, and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 2023. She co-chaired the advisory board to the 2022 United Nations Human Development Report, “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a World in Transformation.”

Photo Credit: Regine Henrich


  • Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and Professor of Sociology and of African-American Studies, Harvard University
  • Faculty Associate & Seminar Co-chair, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University