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Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has done influential work on culture, religion, and American society, including the now-classic article, “Culture in Action”; Organization Without Authority (1979), and Talk of Love (Chicago 2001). She is co-author of Habits of the Heart, The Good Society, and Inequality by Design. Her recent papers explore how culture shapes institutions by analyzing global and local responses to the AIDS epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa. She analyzes how the massive international AIDS effort interacts with existing African cultural and institutional patterns, examining how cultural models and institutional logics intersect in chieftaincies, NGOs, and religious congregations in Africa.


  • Professor of Sociology, University of California, Berkeley