Hyper-specialization characterizes most, or all fields of academic studies. Medicine, history, economics or anthropology, are divided in internal subfields, often compartmentalized from each other and bearing little connection to the mother discipline. This hyper-specialization helped the development of all sciences, including the Social Sciences, but is often unsuitable to account for the complexity and scale of social processes. Culture, economics, politics, sexuality, the family, and technology shape each other in ways that demands a sobering return to broad scholarship and synthetic analysis and the capacity to move from economic models to historical narrative, from thick ethnography to global processes, from statistical analyses to hermeneutic understanding of everyday practices.
Critique of Economic Reason
- How are we to criticize the economic models that have become so dominant throughout the world? What does it mean to make economics more open to sociology and history?
Seminar leader: Eva Illouz
Invited speakers: Mathieu Arnoux, Eve Ciapello, Sébastien Lechevalier, Valeria Siniscalchi.
The changing structure of cities
- How do the physical and social structure of cities change over time and how can we observe such changes? What is the agency of economic powers, government, social movements of various kinds, and the inhabitants themselves in this process?
Seminar leader: Christian Topalov
Invited speakers: Michel Agier, Maurizio Gribaudi, Eleonora Elguezabal
Which future to the family? The family in Traditional and Modern Societies
- How have technology, politics, and economics changed the nature of the family and of sexuality itself? What is the future of the family in the face of the radical changes undergone by gender, sexuality and reproduction?
Seminar leader: Eva Illouz and Allison Pugh
Invited speakers: Alain Blum, Enric Porqueres, Irène Théry
- How do corporations, the nation-state and culture interlock with global processes and transform the structure of modern lives?
Seminar leader: Alessandro Stanziani
Invited speakers:Laurent Berger, Otto Pfersmann, Isabelle Thireau