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Alain Touraine

French Sociologist

Alain Touraine was born in 1925 in Hermanville-sur-Mer, France. He studied at the universities of Columbia, Chicago and Harvard; and was a researcher at the French National Research Council until 1958. In 1956, he founded the University of Chile’s Centre of Labour Sociology Studies. In 1960, he was made a senior researcher at the 'École Pratique des Hautes Études' (what is now Paris’s prestigious College of Social Science Studies), where he founded the CADIS (Centre for Sociological Analysis and Intervention).
Alain Touraine is a member of a number of sociology associations; notably, he has been President of the French Sociological Society, from 1968 to 1970, and Vice-President of the International Sociological Association, from 1974 to 1978. He has also been a member of the High Council for Integration (1994-96) and a board member at the Maison de l'Amérique Latine. He is a foreign member of numerous academies including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europea, the Mexican Academy of Sciences and the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Touraine’s work can be divided into three stages: the first which focused on the study of work and workers’ awareness, based on fieldwork carried out in Latin America; the second looking at social movements, and the uprisings of May 1968 and the coups in Latin American states; and the third, which is ongoing, studying the role of the subject in social movements.

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A New Paradigm in Education


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