Publications

2010
Lamont, Michèle, Mario Luis Small, and David J. Harding. 2010. “Introduction: Reconsidering Culture and Poverty”. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 629 (1):6-27.Abstract

To bridge the gap between poverty scholars and culture scholars, the editors have assembled papers around the topic "Reconsidering Culture and Poverty." Chapters concern cultural orientations concerning upward mobility, finding a job, and sexual behavior, fatherhood, civic participation, and other topics. Contributors include Nathan Fosse, Joshua Guetzkow, Biju Rao, Paromita Sanyal, Sandra Smith, Stephen Vaisey, Maureen Waller, and William Julius Wilson. We hope that this issue will demonstrate the importance of cultural concepts for poverty research, serve as a model and a resource for poverty scholars who wish to incorporate cultural concepts into their research, assist in the training of future scholars working at the nexus of poverty and culture, and identify crucial areas for future methodological, theoretical, and empirical development. Order a copy (http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/lamont/Annals_Brochure_May2010_v629.pdf) from the Annals or read the policy brief (http://www.wjh.harvard.edu/soc/faculty/lamont/Reconsidering-Culture-and-Poverty_PolicyBrief.pdf) from the National Poverty Center. Read the American Sociological Association's coverage in the July/August 2010 edition of Footnotes: "Social Scientists Offer a Multifaceted Picture of Poverty’s Consequences." Response to Steinberg's Boston Review piece on our issue on Reconsidering Culture and Poverty. (http://educationpolicyblog.blogspot.com/2011/01/mario-small-responds.html)

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Brazilian translation. 2011. Socilogica & Anthorpoligia. 1(2): 91-117.

Lamont, Michèle, Elizabeth Silva, and Alan Warde. 2010. “Looking Back at Bourdieu”. in Cultural Analysis and Bourdieu’s Legacy: Settling Accounts and Developing Alternatives. London: Routledge. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Bruno Cousin. 2010. “The Multiple Crises of French Universities”. Council of National Associations. Publisher's Version
2009
Lamont, Michèle. 2009. “Responses to Racism Health, and Social Inclusion as a Dimension of Successful Societies”. Pp. 151-168 in Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health, edited by Peter A. Hall and Michèle Lamont. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Peter A. Hall. 2009. “Introduction”. Pp. 1-22 in Successful Societies: How Institutions and Culture Affect Health, edited by Michèle Lamont and Peter A. Hall. Cambridge, UK and New York: Cambridge University Press. PDF
Lichterman, Paul, Prudence L. Carter, Michèle Lamont, Steven Brint, and Jean Reith Schroedel. 2009. “Race-Bridgin for Christ? Conservative Christians and Black-White Relations in Community Life”. Pp. 187-220 in Evangelicals and Democracy in American . New York : Russell Sage Foundation. PDF
Critères d'Évaluation et Structures Culturelles
Lamont, Michèle, Marc Breviglieri, Claudette Lafaye, and Danny Trom. 2009. “Critères d'Évaluation et Structures Culturelles”. Pp. 437-446 in Compétences critiques et sens de la justice. Paris: Economica. PDF

German Translation: “Evaluierungskriterien und kulturelle Strukturen.” Pp 113-124 in (Be)Werten. Beiträge zur sozialen Konstruktion von Wertigkeit, Soziologie des Wertens und Bewertens, edited by Stefan Nicolae, Martin Endreß, Oliver Berli, Daniel Bischur. Springer VS, Wiesbaden. 2019.

Lamont, Michèle, and Bruno Cousin. 2009. “Les Conditions de l’Évaluation Universitaire”. Revue Mouvements 60:113-117. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Patricia White. 2009. “NSF Report Tackles Standards of Evaluation for Qualitative Research”. Footnotes 36 (6). Publisher's Version
Lamont, Michèle, and Graziella Moraes Da Silva. 2009. “Complementary Rather than Contradictory: Diversity and Excellence in Peer Review and Admissions in American Higher Education”. 21st Century Society: Journal of the Academy of Social Science 4 (1):1-15.Abstract

Diversity is largely accepted as a positive value in American society. Nevertheless, policies to encourage diversity, e.g. affirmative action, language policies and legalising illegal immigrants, are still largely disputed, and often understood as having contradictory and largely negative consequences. The implementation of diversity is still seen as a threat to meritocracy, national cohesion, and democracy. This paper analyses how excellence and diversity are discussed in two academic decision-making processes: admission at two elite public universities and the distribution of competitive research fellowships. We argue that excellence and diversity are not alternative but additive considerations in the allocation of resources. The administrators and academics we studied factor diversity in as an additional consideration when decisions are to be made between applicants of roughly equal standing.

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Lamont, Michèle, Gregoire Mallard, and Joshua Guetzkow. 2009. “Fairness as Appropriateness: Negotiating Epistemological Differences in Peer Review”. Science, Technology & Human Values 34 (5):573-606.Abstract
Epistemological differences fuel continuous and frequently divisive debates in the social sciences and the humanities. Sociologists have yet to consider how such differences affect peer evaluation. The empirical literature has studied distributive fairness, consensus, and the norm of universalism, but neglected the content of evaluation and how epistemological differences affect perception of fairness in decision-making. The normative literature suggests that evaluators should overcome their epistemological differences by "translating" their preferred standards into general criteria of evaluation. However, little is known about how procedural fairness actually operates in panels, and more specifically about how agreements are reached in the face of epistemological diversity. Drawing on 81 interviews with panelists serving on five multidisciplinary fellowship competitions in the social sciences and the humanities, we show that: 1) Evaluators generally draw on four epistemological styles to make arguments in favor of and against proposals. These are the constructivist, comprehensive, positivist, and utilitarian styles. 2) Although the comprehensive style is favored, there is considerable diversity in the epistemological styles used in the panels we studied; 3) Peer reviewers define a fair-decision making process as one in which panelists engage in "cognitive contextualization," that is, use epistemological styles most appropriate to the field or discipline of the proposal under review. These findings challenge the normative literature that associates procedural fairness with the use of generalizable criteria of evaluation.
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2008
Lamont, Michèle. 2008. Promoting Excellence in Research. Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Mario Luis Small. 2008. “How Culture Matters: Enriching Our Understandings of Poverty”. Pp. 76-102 in The Colors of Poverty: Why Racial and Ethnic Disparities Persist, edited by David Harris and Ann Lin. Russell Sage Foundation. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Patricia White. 2008. The Evaluation of Systematic Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences. National Science Foundation.Abstract
As an expert on evaluation in the social sciences, Lamont was asked by the National Science Foundation report to convene a panel of anthropologists, political scientists, sociologists and law and society scholars to discuss how to evaluate qualitative social science research. This report describes the standards that are shared across disciplines. It also includes papers written by more than twenty contributors on various dimensions of the evaluation process and on how to produce excellent proposals.
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2007
Pachucki, Mark A. 2007. “Boundary Processes: Recent Theoretical Developments and New Contributionsedited by Michèle Lamont and Sabrina Pendergrass. Poetics 35:331-351. Publisher's Version PDF
Lamont, Michèle. 2007. “European Studies in the United States: Current Challenges and Prospects for the Future”. The Tocqueville Review XXXIX (1):165-174. PDF
Lamont, Michèle, and Mario Small. 2007. “Cultural Diversity and Poverty Eradication”. in World Report on Cultural Diversity, UNESCO. PDF
2006
Lamont, Michèle, Grégoire Mallard, and Joshua Guetzkow. 2006. “Beyond Blind Faith: Overcoming the Obstacles to Interdisciplinary Evaluation”. Research Evaluation 15 (1):43-55. PDF

Chinese Translation: Peer Review, Scientific Integrity, and the Governance of Science, edited by Bob Frodeman, Britt Holbrook, Carl Mitcham. Beijin: Remnin Press, 2012

Lamont, Michèle, and Christopher Bail. 2006. “Sur les Frontières de la Reconnaissance: Les Catégories Internes et Externes de l'Identité Collective”. Revue Européenne des Migrations Internationalea 21 (2):61-90.Abstract
This article offers a framework for analyzing variations in how members of stigmatized ethno-racial groups establish equivalence with dominant groups through the comparative study of “equalization strategies.” Whereas extant scholarship on anti-racism has focused on the struggle of social movements against institutional and political exclusion and for social justice, we are concerned with the “everyday” anti-racist strategies deployed by members of stigmatized groups. We seek to compare how these strategies vary according to the permeability of inter-group boundaries. The first section defines our research problem and the second section locates our agenda within the current literature. The third section sketches an empirical context for the comparative analysis of equalization strategies across four cases: Palestinian citizens of Israel, Catholics in Northern Ireland, blacks in Brazil, and Québecois in Canada. Whereas the first two cases are examples of ethnic conflict where group boundaries are tightly policed, the second cases exemplify more permeable boundaries. We conclude by offering tentative hypotheses about the relationship between the permeability of inter-group boundaries and the salience and range of equalization strategies used by members of stigmatized ethno-racial groups to establish equivalence with their counterparts in dominant majority groups.
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2005
Lamont, Michèle, and Crystal Fleming. 2005. “Everyday Anti-Racism: Competence and Religion in the Cultural Repertoire of the African American Elite”. Du Bois Review 2 (1):29-43.Abstract
This exploratory study makes a contribution to the literature on anti-racism by unpacking the cultural categories through which everyday anti-racism is experienced and practiced by extraordinarily successful African-Americans. Using a phenomenological approach, we focus on processes of classification to analyze the criteria that they mobilize to compare racial groups and establish their equality. We first summarize results from earlier work on the anti-racist strategies of White and African-American workers. Second, drawing upon in-depth interviews with members of the Black elite, we show that demonstrating intelligence and competence, and gaining knowledge, are particularly valued strategies of equalization, while religion has a subordinate role within their anti-racist repertoire. Thus, gaining cultural membership is often equated with educational and occupational attainment. Anti-racist strategies that value college education and achieving by the standards of American individualism may exclude many poor and working class African-Americans from cultural membership. Thus strategies of equalization based on educational and professional competence may prove dysfunctional for racial solidarity.
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