Publication numérique de la leçon inaugurale en anglais du Pr Didier Fassin

Couverture de l'édition numérique en anglais de la leçon inaugurale de Didier Fassin "On the Inequality of Lives"

Didier Fassin

On the Inequality of Lives

There is, on the one hand, life that flows from a beginning to an end, and, on the other hand, life that constitutes human singularity because it can be recounted. We may term them “biological life” and “biographical life”. Life expectancy measures the length of the former; a life story relates the richness of the latter. Only by acknowledging both can the inequality of lives be comprehended. They should be conceived of as being both distinct and connected: distinct, because the paradox of French women shows that a long life is no guarantee of a good life; connected, because the experience of African-American men stands as a reminder that a devalued life is a damaged life. This also raises the question of refugees and migrants.

Fassin D., On the Inequality of Lives, Paris, Collège de France, série « Inaugural Lectures », 2023.

Didier Fassin is an anthropologist, sociologist and medical doctor. A professor at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) and director of studies at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), he held the 2019-2020 Annual Chair in Public Health at the Collège de France, created with the support of Santé publique France. His work, which he has carried out on three continents, focuses on the political and moral challenges facing contemporary societies.