15th April 2010 - Lecture Sudhir Venkatesh & Shamus Khan

Lectures of the Social Sciences Department

Sudhir Venkatesh & Shamus Khan


Sociology Professors at Columbia University - NY


« Law and Order in the Underground:
Regulating the Black Market
in New York and Chicago »


Thursday 15th Aprill 2010, 11h30-13h30


Free access
Grande Salle, ENS Campus Paris-Jourdan
48 boulevard Jourdan, 75014 Paris


Sudhir Venkatesh and Shamus Khan will present their new research initiative on the social/historical organization of global elites. Both Khan and Venkatesh are interested in the intersection of socio-cultural reproduction— in this case, of an “elite”— and material practices. Venkatesh will explore this nexus by examining the ways in which trust and regulation occurs in the underground economy. The empirical focus of his discussion will be the urban poor neighborhoods of Chicago, notorious for high poverty and gang activity, and the high wealth neighborhoods in New York’s Upper East Side. Empirical material on off-the-books activity will be presented in both social contexts. Khan’s work is an extended ethnographic treatment of the socialization of global elites in high school and, colleges and universities. He will discuss the ways in which young men and women from wealthy privileged backgrounds negotiate legal challenges and personal conflicts outside the purview of the state. This rejection of official authority by young elites is in some ways homologous to the experiences of Venkatesh’s subjects in Chicago. These similarities, and some key differences will allow Khan and Venkatesh to reflect upon the changing character of the global elite.