Loic Wacquant

Research Expertise and Interest


Research Description

Loïc Wacquant is professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is affiliated with the Center for the Study of Law and Society, Program in Medical Anthropology, the Global Metropolitan Studies Program, and the Center for Urban Ethnography.  He is also Researcher at the Centre Européen de Sociologie et de Science Politique in Paris.

Born and raised in Southern France, Wacquant was educated in Montpellier, Paris, and Chicago, where he received his Ph.D in Sociology in 1993 after earlier graduate studies in industrial economics and a research stint in the South Pacific island of New Caledonia. His interests include comparative urban inequality and marginality, racial domination, the penal state, the body, and social theory and epistemology. A past member of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University and a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, he has been a visiting professor in Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, New York City, Vienna, Cambridge and Toulouse and invited as a Fellow to the Russell Sage Foundation, the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences.

Wacquant is the author of over one hundred scholarly articles published in journals of sociology, anthropology, criminology, social theory, social policy, philosophy, and urban and cultural studies, and translated in two dozen languages. He is the author of a dozen books, among them are An Invitation to Reflexive Sociology (1992, with Pierre Bourdieu), Urban Outcasts ((2008), Punishing the Poor (2009), Body and Soul: Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer (expanded anniversary edition, 2022), The Invention of the "Underclass" (2022), Bourdieu in the City (2023) and Racial Domination (2024). 

Wacquant has acted as consultant on issues of urban poverty, violence, ethnicity, and crime to central and local governments, unions, and the courts in France, Argentina, Brazil, Norway, Sweden, and to the OECD. He is co-founder and was co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Ethnography for a decade, and he was a regular contributor to Le Monde diplomatique for another decade. He is cofounder and convenor of the ethnographiccafe.

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