Sociology professor Michèle Lamont wins Erasmus Prize | News - Wishevoke

Sociology professor Michèle Lamont wins Erasmus Prize | News

Sociology professor Michèle Lamont traveled to the Netherlands on November 28 to accept the 2017 Erasmus Prize, one of the world’s highest honors for work in the humanities and social sciences.

The Erasmus Prize, named after the Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus, is awarded annually to an individual who has “made an exceptional contribution to the humanities or the arts in Europe and beyond.” It consists of a cash prize of $159,000.

The prize’s foundation recognized Lamont’s “dedicated contribution to social science research into the relationship between knowledge, power and diversity.” Lamont’s research at Harvard focuses on stigmatized groups and the cultural conditions of inequality, as well as ways these groups can gain greater respect in society.

At the awards ceremony, Lamont – who also directs the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs – met with members of the Dutch royal family and said that the king and queen were “incredibly friendly.” Queen Máxima Zorreguieta Cerruti had “particular interest in my work,” Lamont said, as they had a common interest in ending global poverty.

Lamont said she was able to invite 200 people to the awards ceremony and 40 to the dinner afterwards, which helped make the event a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

Lamont says the ideas generated by her scholarship are becoming increasingly important due to today’s political climate. Recently, Lamont has published articles on the social and cultural impact of Donald Trump’s presidency, including works examining his rhetorical appeals to the white working class and criticism of football players who kneeled during the national anthem in protest of police brutality.

In her 2000 book The Dignity of Working Men, Lamont examined the mindsets and morals of members of the working class in the United States and France and argued that policymakers were increasingly ignoring the concerns of these workers.

This spring, Lamont will teach the undergraduate course Sociology 24: “Introduction to Social Inequality.”

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