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Loïc Wacquant – In Praise of “Thick Construction” in Ethnography

December 7, 2023 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Sociology seminar – Thursdays

Time: 12:00 pm – 1:30 pm 
Date: 7th December 2023
Place: room 3105

ZOOM  : https://zoom.us/j/98771927131?pwd=NHorM3ZNWWlkd0cxMjlqMEhoTStoZz09

Loïc Wacquant – In Praise of “Thick Construction” in Ethnography



What are the specific virtues and perennial dangers of ethnography as an “embedded and embodied” modality of social inquiry and analysis. I recapitulate a full century of urban ethnography in the United States, the worldwide hegemonic pole in this domain, to elaborate a neo-Bourdieusian approach I call “thick construction” by opposition to Clifford Geertz’s “thick description.” I review the five fallacies of “ethnographism” and I illustrate how to fuse theory and empirics, reason and observation, model and data with examples drawn from a recent field project on the crafting of law in the criminal court of a California county.


Organizers: Annina Cleasson, Paola Tubaro, Patrick Präg (CREST Sociology unit)


Sponsors: CREST