Ethnography

Presented by its promoters two and a half centuries ago as a moral progress in the administration of punishment, prison has become over the past decades one of the most vexing and unsettling issues in Western societies for both the spectacular...

Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science, has authored Das Leben: Eine kritische Gebrauchsanweisung (Suhrkamp Verlag, 2017), which presents a dialogue on the relationship between philosophy and social...

Didier Fassin, James D. Wolfensohn Professor in the School of Social Science, has authored Punir: Une Passion Contemporaine (Seuil, 2017), an...

This ethnographic project and I have grown up together. It evolved through repeated returns over the course of forty-two months of fieldwork carried out in Bolivia and Paraguay between 2001 and 2013. Its focus has sharply changed since I began...

In his 1951 poem “Harlem,” Langston Hughes, writer and social activist, famously questioned the outcome of a “dream deferred.” Does such a dream dry up, fester, stink, crust and sugar over, or sag like a heavy load, he pondered. Then, foreshadowing the hundreds of race riots that would take place in the 1960s and 1970s, he ends his poem with an emphatic query: Or does it explode?

Philosophers have always been interested in moral questions, but social scientists have generally been more reluctant to discuss morals and moralities. This is indeed a paradox since the questioning of the moral dimension of human life and social...

Historians today can hardly answer the question: when does history begin? Traditional boundaries between history, protohistory, and prehistory have been blurred if not completely erased by the rise of concepts such as “Big History” and “...

Generally a hacker is a technologist with a love for computing, and a hack is a clever technical solution arrived at through non-obvious means (alternatively, it can mean a downright clunky and ugly solution, one, however, that gets the job at...