13 Facts About Alain Touraine


Alain Touraine is research director at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, where he founded the Centre d'etude des mouvements sociaux.


Alain Touraine completed his khagne at the Lycee Louis-le-Grand in Paris, and entered the Ecole Normale Superieure in 1945.


Alain Touraine conducted field research at the Renault auto factory in Boulogne-Billancourt in Paris, which would lead to his first sociological monograph, published in 1955.


Alain Touraine defended his two doctoral theses at the University of Paris in 1964.


Alain Touraine is the father of two children: Marisol, who served as the French Minister of Social Affairs and Health from 2012 to 2017 in the government of Jean-Marc Ayrault and Manuel Valls; and Philippe, a professor of endocrinology at the Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in Paris.


Part of the first generation of French sociologues du travail after World War II, Alain Touraine was a pioneer of sociological fieldwork in industrial settings in France, drawing on the influence of American industrial sociology and industrial relations, as well as the survey research of Paul Lazarsfeld.


Alain Touraine was a professor of sociology at Nanterre when the student movement of May 1968 broke out on its campus.


Alain Touraine observed the movement on the ground and wrote one of the first studies of it; 1968 marked a transition in his work away from labor and the working class toward social movements.


Alain Touraine has studied and written extensively on workers' movements across the world, particularly in Latin America.


Alain Touraine has gained popularity in Latin America as well as in continental Europe.


Alain Touraine has failed to gain the same recognition in the English-speaking world, although half of his books have been translated into English.


Alain Touraine participated in 1969 at the Universitas project organized by Argentine architect Emilio Ambasz.


Alain Touraine received the Legion d'Honneur in 2014 during his daughter Marisol's mandate as French Minister of Social Affairs.