#25: Michèle Lamont on Building Big Ideas
This is Cognitive Revolution, my show about the personal side of the intellectual journey. Each week, I interview an eminent scientist, writer, or academic about the experiences that shaped their ideas. The show is available wherever you listen to podcasts.
This week's guest is someone very special. Michèle Lamont has had a huge impact on my own thinking as a psychologist. She is the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European Studies and a Professor of Sociology and African American Studies at Harvard University. The first time I encountered her work was in a book she wrote, published in 2000, called the Dignity of Working Men. It's a work of comparative sociology in which she interviews working class men in both New York and France, both black and white individuals, and essentially allows them to tell their story of the way they see the world while providing some sociological interpretation. It's a brilliant work, and has only become more relevant over time. I highly recommend to anyone interested in understanding more about a huge section of the population that isn't as well represented in typical academic discourse. At any rate, it was a huge honor to talk to her. She has a number of other books that you can check out. In this episode we talk a lot about how her ideas have built on top of one another over time, to really become a truly holistic comparative sociology covering a big part of our world.
Here is the interview she mentioned in our conversation.
Oh, and the movie she was trying to think of was Mephisto by Werner Herzog.
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