Didier Fassin

Didier Fassin is one of the most exciting and innovative figures in modern French sociology and anthropology. Currently James D. Wolfensohn Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Fassin began his career as a physician, practising in the field of infectious diseases and conducting research on public health. He then moved into medical anthropology, where his ethnographic work in Ecuador and South Africa resulted in ground-breaking studies of infant mortality and the politics of AIDS. More recently, he has developed the research framework of a ‘critical anthropology of morals’, which seeks to relate moral issues to their political context and historical development. This has led to a series of cutting-edge studies into the nature of policing and prisons in France. Polity has published both Enforcing Order: An Ethnography of Urban Policing and Prison Worlds: An Ethnography of the Carceral Condition. Most recently, Polity has published Life: A Critical User's Manual.