Getting to Cultural Processes beyond Getting Respect - a talk by Michèle Lamont


Monday, December 14, 2020, 9:00am to 10:45am



Dr. Michèle Lamont will be speaking at the Global Race Project's annual conference - Race-Conscious and Colorblind Framings: Converging and Diverging trends in Europe and the Americas. ​​​​​Michèle will speak at approximately 10:00am ET.

Panel 1: Theorizing Race in Sociology 

Chair: Magali Bessone


Juliette Galonnier and Patrick Simon “Talking about Race in French Sociology”
Looking back to the use of the race concept in French sociology amounts to documenting an absence. In an effort to distinguish itself from physical anthropology, criminology and Nazi pseudo-science, early French sociology dismissed race as an ugly category. While post-WW2 American and British social sciences reinvested race and ethnicity with new meanings by adopting a constructivist approach, race remained invisible and an intellectual outcast in France. A statistical exploration of a dozen of French sociological journals shows that articles that explicitly use the words “race”, “racial”, “racialization” or “racism” in their title and abstract make up less than 2% of the entire French sociological production from 1960 to 2018. This paper seeks to document the reasons behind such limited presence and to explore how race is defined and for which purpose when it is used in French sociology. We end with a consideration of recent endeavors by a new generation of French sociologists to reestablishing race as a relevant sociological concept to describe French society and the academic controversies that this focus on race has fostered.

Karim Murji “The Race Conjuncture - Stuart Hall as a Public Sociologist”
Given the range of arguments made against it from across the political and scholarly spectrum race ought to have withered away by now. Yet there is no sign of that happening, rather the reverse is the case if anything. In his 1994 Du Bois lectures Stuart Hall asked why is race ‘so tenacious in human history, so impossible to dislodge’? Hall’s question and analysis was pitched within the conjunctural moment he was writing to. In this presentation I seek to outline a number of steps and analyses the field of race that Hall took and to read them conjunturally and as public interventions. Both this matter as issues of method and style as I contend that Hall was not interested in arid debates about what race is but rather what race does, or what is done in name of race in specific contexts. From his early statements for the BBC, through to his framing of the race-state-media conjuncture and on to the multicultural moment in the UK, I aim to lead up to what it could mean to read Hall’s analysis in our time or moment, 25 years on from his Harvard lectures, in light of nativist and populist politics in the UK and elsewhere.

Michèle Lamont “Getting to Cultural Processes Beyond Getting Respect: How Can the Varied Relationship Between Symbolic, Social and Spatial Boundaries Help Us Understand Racial Groupness and Identity”
This paper clarifies and elaborates the explanatory framework developed in Getting Respect (Lamont et al 2016) around the relationship between meaning-making, racial identity, and symbolic, social and spatial boundaries. It also compares this approach with other prominent approaches and conceptual frameworks for understanding global racial inequality.

To attend, you must register.

If have any questions about attending please contact Juliette Galonnier.