Publications

2017
Lamont, Michèle. 2017.“Prisms of Inequality: Moral Boundaries, Exclusion, and Academic Evaluation”. in Praemium Erasmianum Essay 2017. Amsterdam: Praemium Erasmianum Foundation. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, Laura Adler, Bo Yun Park, and Xin Xiang. 2017. “Bridging Cultural Sociology and Cognitive Psychology in Three Contemporary Research Programs”. Nature Human Behaviour 1:866-872. Publisher's VersionAbstract
Three prominent research programmes in cognitive psychology would benefit from a stronger engagement with the cultural context of  cognition: studies of poverty focused on scarcity and cognitive bandwidth, studies of dual-process morality and studies of biases using the implicit association test. We address some limitations of these programmes and suggest research strategies for moving beyond an exclusive focus on cognition. Research on poverty using the cognitive bandwidth approach would benefit from considering the cultural schemas that influence how people perceive and prioritize needs. Dual-process morality researchers could explain variation by analysing cultural repertoires that structure moral choices. Research using the implicit association test can better explain implicit attitudes by addressing the variability in cultural schemas that undergird biases. We identify how these research programmes can deepen the causal understanding of human attitudes and behaviours by addressing the interaction between internal cognition and supra-individual cultural repertoires.
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Dodd, Nigel, Michèle Lamont, and Mike Savage. 2017. “Introduction to BJS Special Issue”. The British Journal of Sociology 68 (S1):S3-S10. Publisher's Version PDF
Lamont, Michèle, Bo Yun Park, and Elena Ayala-Hurtado. 2017. “Trump's Electoral Speeches and His Appeal to the American White Working Class”. British Journal of Sociology 68 (S1):S153-S180. Publisher's VersionAbstract
This paper contributes to the study of social change by considering boundary work as a dimension of cultural change. Drawing on the computer-assisted qualitative analysis of 73 formal speeches made by Donald Trump during the 2016 electoral campaign, we argue that his political rhetoric, which led to his presidential victory, addressed the white working classes’ concern with their declining position in the national pecking order. He addressed their concern by raising the moral status of this group, that is, by 1) emphatically describing them as hard working Americans who are victims of globalization; 2) voicing their concerns about ‘people above’ (professionals, the rich, and politicians); 3) drawing strong moral boundaries toward undocumented immigrants, refugees and Muslims; 4) presenting African American and (legal) Hispanic Americans as workers who also deserve jobs; 5) stressing the role of working class men as protectors of women and LGBTQ people. This particular case study of cultural resonance provides a novel, distinctively sociological approach for capturing dynamics of social change.
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2016
Mutuality, Mobilization, and Messaging for Health Promotion: Toward Collective Cultural Change
Lamont, Michèle, and Mabel Berezin. 2016. “Mutuality, Mobilization, and Messaging for Health Promotion: Toward Collective Cultural Change”. Social Science and Medicine 165:201-205. Publisher's Version PDF
Lamont, Michele. 2016.“Getting Respect: Responding to Stigma and Discrimination”. The Sociologist, 3-5. PDF
Lamont, Michele, Veronica Boix Mansilla, and Kyoko Sato. 2016. ““Optimally Ambiguous Exchanges” and Other Conditions for Productive Interdisciplinary Collaboration”. The Social Science Research Council (May 3, 2016). Publisher's Version
2016.“Sociologue Engagee": A Contribution to a Debate on "Can Comparative Historical Sociology Save the World?"”. Trajectories: Newsletter of the ASA Comparative and Historical Sociology Section, 15-17. Publisher's Version PDF
Lamont, Michele, and Joshua Guetzkow. 2016.“How Quality Is Recognized by Peer Review Panels: The Case of the Humanities”. Pp. 31-41 in Research Assessment in the Humanities, edited by Michael Ochsner, Sven E. Hug, and Hans-Dieter Daniel. Berlin: Springer International Publishing. PDF
Destigmatization and Health: Cultural Constructions and the Long-Term Reduction of Stigma
Clair, Matthew, Caitlin Daniel, and Michele Lamont. 2016. “Destigmatization and Health: Cultural Constructions and the Long-Term Reduction of Stigma”. Social Science and Medicine 165:223-232. Publisher's Version PDF
Mijs, Jonathan J. B., Elyas Bakhtiari, and Michèle Lamont. 2016. “Neoliberalism and Symbolic Boundaries in EuropeGlobal Diffusion, Local Context, Regional Variation”. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World 2 (January-December 2016).Abstract

Studies suggest that the rise of neoliberalism accompanies a foregrounding of individual responsibility and a weakening of community. The authors provide a theoretical agenda for studying the interactions between the global diffusion of neoliberal policies and ideologies, on the one side, and cultural repertoires and boundary configurations, on the other, in the context of local, national, and regional variation. Exploiting variation in the rate of adoption of neoliberal policies across European societies, the authors show how levels of neoliberal penetration covary with the way citizens draw symbolic boundaries along the lines of ethnoreligious otherness and moral deservingness.

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Lamont, Michele, Veronica Boix Mansilla, and Kyoko Sato. 2016. “Shared Cognitive Emotional Interactional Platforms: Markers and Conditions for Successful Interdisciplinary Collaborations”. Science, Techonology and Human Values.Abstract

Given the growing centrality of interdisciplinarity to scientific research, gaining a better understanding of successful interdisciplinary collaborations has become imperative. Drawing on extensive case studies of nine research networks in the social, natural, and computational sciences, we propose a construct that captures the multidimensional character of such collaborations, that of shared cognitive-emotional-interactional (SCEI) platform. We demonstrate its value as an integrative lens to examine markers of and conditions for successful interdisciplinary collaborations as defined by researchers involved in these groups. We show that 1) markers and conditions embody three different dimensions: cognitive, emotional and interactional; 2) these dimensions are present in all networks, albeit to different degrees; 3) the dimensions are intertwined and mutually constitutive; and 4) they operate in conjunction with institutional conditions created by funders. We compare SCEI platforms to available frameworks for successful interdisciplinary work. 

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2015
Bell, Monica, Nathan Fosse, Michele Lamont, and Eva Rosen. 2015.“Beyond the Culture of Poverty”. Pp. 1-16 in The Wiley Blackwell Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Nationalism. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Publisher's VersionAbstract

Understanding social life requires attending to the cultural dimension of reality. Yet, when it comes to the study of low-income populations, factoring in culture has often been a contentious project. This is because explaining poverty through culture has been equated with blaming the poor for their predicaments. Scholars have moved the debate forward by making a case for integrating culture in explanations of poverty. This requires drawing on analytical devices such as frames, narratives, institutions, repertoires, and boundaries that capture intersubjective definitions of reality. These concepts have been useful for identifying a diversity of frameworks through which low-income populations understand their reality and develop paths for mobility. This entry builds on these contributions by exploring the place of culture in studies of American low-income populations in three important areas of social life: family, neighborhood, and work.

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Lamont, Michele, Stefan Beljean, and Phillipa Chong. 2015.“A Post-Bourdieusian Sociology of Valuation and Evaluation for the Field of Cultural Production”. in Routledge International Handbook of the Sociology of Art and Culture. New York: Routledge. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, Sabrina Pendergrass, and Mark C. Pachucki. 2015.“Symbolic Boundaries”. Pp. 850-855 in International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by James Wright. Oxford: Elsevier. PDF
2014
Lamont, Michele, Charles Camic, and Neil Gross. 2014. “Looking back at "Social knowledge in the making"”. Sociologica 8 (2). Publisher's Version PDF
Lamont, Michèle. 2014.“How Do University, Higher Education and Research Contribute toSocietal Well-Being?”. Pp. 8-17 in Higher Education in Societies: A Multi Scale Perspective. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. PDF
Lamont, Michèle. 2014. “Reflections inspired by Ethnic Boundary Making: Institutions, Power, Networks by Andreas Wimmer ”. Ethnic and Racial Studies 37 (5):814-819. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, Stefan Beljean, and Matthew Clair. 2014. “What is Missing? Cultural Processes and Causal Pathways to Inequality”. Socio-Economic Review 1-36. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Nicolas Duvoux. 2014. “How Neo-Liberalism has Transformed France's Symbolic Boundaries?”. French Politics, Culture and Society 32 (2):57-75.Abstract

This paper considers changes in the symbolic boundaries of French society under the influence of neo-liberalism. As compared to the early nineties, stronger boundaries toward the poor and Blacks are now being drawn while North-African immigrants and their offsprings continue to be largely perceived as outside the community of those who deserve recognition and protection. Moreover, while the social reproduction of upper-middle class privileges has largely remained unchanged, there is a blurring of the symbolic boundaries separating the middle and working class as the latter has undergone strong individualization. Also, the youth is now bearing the brunt of France’s non-adaptation to changes in the economy and is increasingly marginalized. The result is a dramatic change in the overall contours of the French symbolic community, with a narrowed definition of cultural membership, and this, against a background of growing inequality, unemployment, and intolerance in a more open and deregulated labor market.

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