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Michèle Lamont Cultural sociologist

Michèle Lamont studies inequality, race and ethnicity, the evaluation of social science knowledge, and the impact of neoliberalism on advanced industrial societies. Her scholarly interests center on shared concepts of worth and excellence and their impact on hierarchies in a number of social domains.

Lamont has written on topics such as how the meanings given to worth (including moral worth) shape ethno-racial and class inequality; the definitions and determinants of societal excellence; and the evaluation of excellence in higher education. Other areas of interest include group boundaries, how members of stigmatized groups respond to racism and discrimination, how culture matters for poverty, peer review, shared criteria of evaluation for qualitative social sciences, disciplinary cultures, and interdisciplinarity.

These various strands of her work were brought together in the Adorno lectures that she delivered at the Institut fur Sozialforschung in Frankfurt, June 4-6, 2014, under the title “Worlds of Worth: Cultural Processes of Inequality” (publications in English, French, and German are in preparation). These lectures were also delivered at the Collège de France, where Michèle Lamont was Professeur d’Etat invitée for the month of May 2015.


President-elect, American Sociological Association, 2015-2016.

Member, Royal Society of Canada, 2015.

Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques, Gouvernement français, 2014.

Gutenberg Research Award, Johannes Gutenberg University, 2014.

Everett Mendelsohn Excellence in Mentoring Award, Graduate Students Association, Harvard University, 2010.

Relevant Publications

M. Lamont, M. Clair, C. Daniel, "Destigmatization and Health: Cultural Constructions and the Long-term Reduction of Stigma.", Social Science & Medicine, 165:223-232, 2016.

M. Lamont, M. Berezin, "Mutuality, Mobilization, and Messaging for Health Promotion: Toward Collective Cultural Change", In special issue on "Mutuality, Health Promotion and Collective Cultural Change", Social Science & Medicine, edited by M. Lamont, M. Berezin, A. Plough, and M. Trujillo, 2016.

M. Lamont et al, “Shared Cognitive–Emotional–Interactional Platforms: Markers and Conditions for Successful Interdisciplinary Collaborations,” Science, Technology & Human Values (Nov. 18, 2015) doi: 10.1177/0162243915614103.

M. Lamont and A. Swidler, “Methodological Pluralism and the Possibilities and Limits of Interviewing,” Qualitative Sociology, vol. 37, no. 2, pp. 153-171, 2014.

M. Lamont, S. Beljean, and M. Clair, “What is Missing? Cultural Processes and the Causal Pathways to Inequality,” Socio-Economic Review, vol. 12, no. 3, pp. 573-608. 2014.


M. Lamont et al, Getting Respect: Dealing with Stigma and Discrimination in the United States, Brazil, and Israel. Princeton University Press, forthcoming 2016.

P. Hall and M. Lamont, eds, Social Resilience in the Neoliberal Era. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2013.

P. Hall and M. Lamont, eds, Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2009.



Program Co-Director Successful Societies

Senior Fellow Successful Societies


Harvard UniversityDepartment of Sociology


PhD (Sociology) Université de Paris

MA (Political Science) Ottawa University

BA (Political Science) Ottawa University


United States

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