I am an associate professor at the Institut des Sciences Sociales of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. I am a member of the Centre en études genre (CEG) and the Swiss Elite Observatory (OBELIS). I co-preside UNIL’s Plateforme en études genre (PlaGe) with Pr. Véronique Boillet. I previously taught at the University of Amsterdam, the Université Paris 1-Panthéon Sorbonne and the University of Chicago. I’m interested in inequality, power and difference with a wide array of foci including international migration, citizenship and illegality, labor and employment, race and racism, gender and sexuality, class structure and social theory.
Following an ethnography of temporary agency work and labor organizing in the Chicago region, I completed a collective study exploring the labor-market experience and chronicling the union-supported mobilization of undocumented immigrant workers in France, together with Pierre Barron, Anne Bory, Nicolas Jounin and Lucie Tourette. With Nicolas Jounin, I conducted comparative analysis on the implications of ‘temporary’ staffing for migrant employment precarity in Paris and Chicago. Blanca Garcés-Mascareñas and I have since been developing a theoretical framework for the moral economy of migrant illegality, undocumented migrant incorporation and frames of legal deservingness across key countries, focusing on employment in particular (with Albert Kraler). I continue to explore the relationship between precarious work, social rights and civic inequality. I recently wrote with Laura Cleton on the ritual construction of “free choice” in so-called voluntary departure programs, resulting in an article in JEMS.
My work on gender, sexuality and intersectionality includes broad syntheses with Laure Bereni, Alex Jaunait, Anne Revillard (Introduction aux études sur le genre, De Boeck, 3rd edition 2020), and Arnaud Lerch (Sociologie de l’homosexualité, La Découverte, 2nd edition forthcoming in 2023) as well as a series of pieces in lesbian and gay studies, particularly on homophobia. I have been thinking and writing together with Alex Jaunait on intersectionality and the historical epistemology of sex and gender, as part of a broader interest in the evolving ontologies of race, gender, sexuality and kinship in the 21st century. With Saskia Bonjour, I organized a symposium on “Class, Gender and Migration”, which has become a special issue of International Migration. From 2022 onwards, I am a Swiss partner in the new multi-country Horizon Europe 4-year project RESIST on transnational anti-gender politics coordinated by Kath Browne at University College Dublin.
Other recent and ongoing writings (with Manuela Salcedo, Yannick Coenders, Timo Koren, Fatiha El-Hajjari and Apostolos Andrikopoulos) explore the dynamics of race, nationalism, sexuality, citizenship and inequality in the Netherlands, France and the U.S. Our last piece analyses how class dynamics inform the lives of same-sex couples with mixed legal statuses. Research with Yannick Coenders and Timo Koren on the structuration of whiteness in the NL resulted in renewed analysis of the Zwarte Piet controversies, in Dutch primary schools (Antipode piece, with Yannick), and in a famous children’s TV program (Public Culture piece, with Yannick and Timo).
In a separate stream, Olga Sezneva and I worked on a new reading of the role of materiality in the history of the commodity form, focusing on the economics of cultural, virtual and agricultural products under globalized capitalism. After appearing in English in the first issue of Critical Historical Studies in 2014, our article was published in Spanish in Sociologia Historica (2018). This line of reflection on the politics of economic value is being further developed through a new multi-disciplinary seminar on “value, valuation, valorization” at the University of Lausanne.
Last, but not least, since the late 2000s, Bruno Cousin and I have been expanding a multi-sited research program on social and symbolic capital and the cultural sociology of economic elites, with a focus on Western Europe (elite white male social club sociability), the Caribbean region (St. Barthélemy, “Offshore Europe” with Peter Clegg). We currently have projects on high-end servants of the ultra-rich, empirical answers to the question of a global ruling class, the intersectional sociology of elite social clubs in Paris, the global history of St Barth, and new forms of conspicuous consumption among the economic elite (with Ashley Mears). Finally, as of 2022, I am leading a new SNF-funded research project investigating the role of Switzerland in the formation, reproduction and transformation of international economic elites, together with Claire Cosquer (postdoc) and Fabio Cescon (doc).