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Loïc Wacquant


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As introduced by urban geographer Tom Slater at the University of Edinburgh: 

The prolific student of two giants of social science, Pierre Bourdieu and William Julius Wilson, Loïc Wacquant is an interdisciplinary sociologist who has made varied and original contributions to urban studies, although his influence extends well beyond cities. His foundational writings on carnal sociology, the penal state, ethnoracial domination, and social theory have been translated into two dozen languages and have triggered debates in multiple disciplines. He is best known among urbanists for his comparative analyses and conceptualization of advanced marginality and territorial stigmatization. He is also widely read for his thesis on the penalization of poverty, and his rethinking of the vexed question of the ghetto. His work is rooted in his insistence upon intensive fieldwork as an instrument of epistemological rupture and theoretical construction. Wacquant’s emphasis on the role of the state as producer of marginality, the weight of symbolic structures in the production of dispossession in cities, and the need to fuse theory, ethnography and comparison has proven especially instructive and provocative.

Wacquant is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley and a Researcher at the Centre de européen de sociologie et de science politique in Paris. You can visit Wacquant’s personal page here, or read the entry by Tom Slater here.