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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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

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

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

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

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