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Town Hall Seattle: Science Series

Town Hall’s Science series is dedicated to understanding the world around us. Whether we’re hearing from a legendary physicist or a UW graduate student, the Science series explores math, biology, chemistry, the environment, and so much more.

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Oct 23, 2023

Why does it seem like some people matter more than others? Why are some given higher status or more recognition? And how do we broaden the circle of those who belong in society?

Harvard sociologist Michèle Lamont examines these questions and unpacks the power of recognition—how we perceive others as visible and valued. She draws from her new book, Seeing Others, and nearly forty years of research and interviews to show how we need new narratives for everyone to feel respect and assert their dignity.

For decades now, more people have become marginalized and divided. Lamont believes this is related to the fact that we’ve prioritized material and professional success, we have judged ourselves and others in terms of self-reliance, competition, and diplomas. At the same time, Lamont points out, we’re living in a moment where many marginalized social groups, including workers, people of color, LGBTQIA+ individuals, and minorities, want to be seen and heard––to fully belong in society. How do we heal such a deeply divided world?

Join us at Town Hall for a riveting evening as Lamont looks at the heart of our modern struggles and offers an inclusive path forward with new ways of understanding our world while recognizing the diverse ways one can live a life.

Michèle Lamont is a Professor of Sociology and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University, where she is also the Robert I. Goldman Professor of European studies. She served as the 108th President of the American Sociological Association and her research has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from six countries. The author or co-author of over a dozen books, she can be found on