School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences

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Template:Infobox University The École des hautes études en sciences sociales (French for "School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences"; EHESS) is a leading French institution for research and higher education, a Grand établissement. Its mission is research and research training in the social sciences, including the relationship these latter maintain with the natural and life sciences. The EHESS is located in central Paris, with some other research centres and teams based in Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse. Many of France's greatest scientists in Humanities are professors ("Directeurs d'études") there.


Originally part of the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE) as its VI Section: Sciences économiques et sociales, the EHESS gained autonomy as an independent higher education institution on 23 January 1975. The creation of a dedicated branch for social science research within the EPHE was supported by several initiatives of the Rockefeller Foundation dating back to the 1920s. After WWII, the Rockefeller Foundation invested more funds, in the aims of favorizing non-Marxist sociological studies. Thus, the VIth section was created in 1947, and Lucien Febvre, affected by Georges Gurvitch, took its head. Soon after its creation (1947), the VI Section, later EHESS, became one of the most influential shapers of contemporary historiography, area studies and social sciences methodology, thanks to the contribution of eminent scholars such as Fernand Braudel, Jacques Le Goff or François Furet. F. Braudel succeeded in 1962 to L. Febvre and concentrated the various study groups at its well-known emplacement on boulevard Raspail, in part by a financing from the Ford Foundation.

Today, the EHESS is one of France's prestigious Grands établissements. It functions as a research, teaching, and degree-granting institution. It offers advanced students high-level programs intended to lead to research careers. Students are admitted by dossier and undertake at the EHESS master programs and doctoral studies. The main areas of specialization include: history, literary theory, linguistics, philosophy, philology, sociology, anthropology, economics, cognitive science, demographics, geography, archaeology, psychology, law, and mathematics, although the institution's focus is on interdisciplinary research within these fields. The EHESS currently hosts more than 80 research centers (among which several joint research units with the CNRS) and 22 doctoral programs, 13 of which in partnership with other French Universities and Grandes écoles.


Influence from the Annales School

Lucien Febvre and Fernand Braudel were members of the École des Annales, the dominant school of historical analysis in France during the interwar period. However, this school of thought was contested by the growing importance of the social sciences and the beginning of structuralism. Under pressure from Claude Lévi-Strauss, in particular, they integrated new contributions from the fields of sociology and ethnography to event-based historical analysis, a concept put forward the Annales school, to advocate for the concept of "a nearly imperceptible passage of history". They were reproached, along with the structuralists, for ignoring politics and the individual's influence over his fate during a period in which the colonial wars of emancipation were taking place.

The work of Braudel, Le Roy Ladurie and other historians working under their influence greatly affected the research and official teaching of history in France beginning in the 1960s. The work of Jean-Marie Pesez renewed interest in the issue of methodology in medieval archeology and created the idea of "material culture".

New History

During the 1970s, EHESS became the center of New History under the influence of Jacques Le Goff and Pierre Nora. During this period, a generation of ethnologists working under the ideas of Georges Balandier and Marc Augé were critical of the French colonial tradition and applied modern sociological concepts to third world countries.


Pierre Bourdieu, Luc Boltanski, Robert Castel, Alain Touraine, Jean-Claude Passeron have all been associated with EHESS.


In the early period of the VIth section of EPHE, EHESS attracted economists at the margin of French universities, such as Jean Fourastié, and important scholars working on "Third World" economies in a Marxist approach such as Charles Bettelheim. During the 1970s, EHESS was a pioneer in French academia in introducing US-style economics based on formal models and econometrics, by welcoming in its faculty Louis-André Gérard-Varet, Jean-Jacques Laffont, François Bourguignon, Roger Guesnerie (among others), who were at the origins of the three main economics programs in France, respectively in Marseille, Toulouse and Paris.


Past and present faculty (including EPHE's VI Section): Template:Col-begin Template:Col-3

  • Sylviane Agacinski
  • Marc Augé
  • Roland Barthes
  • Claude Berge
  • Augustin Berque
  • François Bourguignon
  • Pierre Bourdieu
  • Fernand Braudel
  • Jean Boutier
  • Claude Calame
  • Fernando Henrique Cardoso
  • Manuel Castells
  • Cornelius Castoriadis
  • Roger Chartier
  • Annie Cohen-Solal
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Philippe Descola
  • Oswald Ducrot
  • Louis Dumont
  • David Feuerwerker
  • Marc Ferro
  • Lucien Febvre


  • Maribel Fierro
  • François Furet
  • Marcel Gauchet
  • Maurice Godelier
  • Nilüfer Göle
  • Algirdas Julien Greimas
  • Roger Guesnerie
  • Pierre Hadot (1964–86)
  • Stanley Hoffmann
  • Olivier Jeanne
  • Milan Kundera
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Jacques Le Goff
  • Marie-Claire Lavabre
  • Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie
  • Claude Lefort
  • Pierre Manent
  • Jacques Mehler
  • Thomas Piketty
  • Richard Portes
  • Ignacio Ramonet
  • Pierre Rosenstiehl


  • Emma Rothschild
  • Olivier Roy
  • Moisés Espírito Santo
  • Jean-Marie Schaeffer
  • Jean-Claude Schmitt
  • Carlo Severi
  • Jean Tirole
  • Christian Topalov
  • Alain Touraine
  • Jean-Pierre Vernant
  • Arundhati Virmani
  • Georges Vigarello
  • François Weil
  • Michel Wieviorka
  • Edgar Morin


Research centers

Among the research institutes and teams hosted at EHESS:

See also

  • École libre des hautes études
  • The New School for Social Research
  • Paris Universitas
  • Category:École des hautes études en sciences sociales alumni
  • Category:École des hautes études en sciences sociales faculty

External links

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References and notes


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