Loïc Wacquant

Loïc Wacquant is among the most brilliant sociologists of his generation and his work has examined the interrelated themes of urban poverty, ghettoization and the penal state. Currently a Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Berkeley, early in his career he was a protégé and colleague of Pierre Bourdieu. He is perhaps best known for his use of rich ethnographic material to show how neoliberalism, state policies of incarceration and racial domination mesh together in the USA and other Western societies. In particular, he has shown how the ghetto and the prison work as part of a ‘carceral continuum’ to reinforce the social exclusion of black Americans. He has also written about his experiences as an apprentice boxer in a black Chicago ghetto, as well as a comparative study of urban exclusion and state policy in France and the USA, published by Polity as Urban Outcasts.