The Observatoire Sociologique du Changement (OSC) is a joint Sciences Po / CNRS research center.
Part of Sciences Po's Sociology Department, OSC is devoted to research that covers the multidimensionality of social inequality in contemporary societies. OSC’s research program seeks to describe patterns and trends of inequality, analyze their mechanisms and inform and contribute to policy analysis in a world where inequality has become a major threat.
The center has a strong tradition of comparative sociology highlighting the role of welfare state policies, institutional mechanisms and national narratives related to inequality.
Sciences Po-OSC is committed to theory-driven empirical research, drawing on a diversity of methods (qualitative, quantitative, experimental, etc.), adopting micro, meso and macro perspectives, and promoting interdisciplinary approaches for an integrated research on inequality in social sciences.
OSC faculty members are international experts in the study of different facets of inequality such as education, gender, family, life course, labor market and economic inequality, social mobility, urban segregation, migration, ethnoracial minorities, cultural inequality and digital inequality. The research agenda is also engaged in enhancing new perspectives in inequality studies such as environmental inequality and health inequality.
Head of the OSC is Mirna Safi, Associate Professor at Sciences Po, since January 1, 2019.
Mirna Safi has been a member of the OSC since 2007. She is the first woman leading the laboratory since its start in 1988. Her research topics focuses on migration, urban segregation, discriminations and ethno-racial inequalities. She is also affiliated to the LIEPP.
OSC currently has 50 members, including 24 doctoral students and 15 associate researchers.
- Henri Mendras (1988-1996)
- Philippe Besnard (1996-2001)
- Alain Chenu (2003-2013)
- Marco Oberti (2014-2018)
- Mirna Safi (2019-...)
teaching, doctoral training and supervision
OSC hosts PhD students enrolled in Sciences Po’s Doctoral Program in Sociology. The center stands out for its commitment to research training, guided from the beginning by its founding purpose: to train new and talented sociologists in line with the most recent theoretical and methodological developments in the discipline. Our doctoral students produce research that is intended for publication in peer-reviewed French and international journals.
With over 30 PhD students fully integrated into the life of the center, the OSC plays an important role in doctoral training.
The OSC's members teach a number of courses within the Sciences Po's campuses in Paris, Reims, Le Havre, Poitiers and Menton, into graduates and undergraduates programmes. They are also associate to the academic staff of the School of Public Affairs and Urban School.
The OSC was rated A+ by AERES (French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Education) in January 2013. Read the AERES evaluation (in French, pdf, 747 Ko).
The HCERES (High Council for the Evaluation of Research and Higher Education) underlined in 2018 "... an undeniable level of scientific excellence: the number and quality of scientific productions, the very high level of international and national recognition, loads of requests for scientific expertise and the excellent employment of young doctors in the academic world." Read here the final notice (in French, pdf, 358 Ko).
- Alice Olivier, 2019, PhD Prize, Observatoire de la vie étudiante (OVE)
- Marine Haddad, 2018, Young Author's Prize 2018, Population journal
- Juliette Galonnier, 2018, ASA's Dissertation Award (American Sociological Association) for the dissertation "Choosing Faith and Facing Race: Converting to Islam in France and the United States"
- Yoann Demoli, Panhard Prize 2018 (Automobile Club de France et Comité des Constructeurs Français d’Automobiles) for PhD work
- Pauline Proboeuf, 2017, 27st Master Prize, Observatoire national de la vie étudiante (M2)
- Marie Duru-Bellat, Doctor honoris causa, University of Liège
- Agnès van Zanten, Doctor honoris causa, ULB (Bruxelles)
- Gaëlle Larrieu, 2017, Second Prize by CNAF for her Master 2 thesis
- Hugues Lagrange, 2017, Medal of Honor, CNRS
- Agnès van Zanten, 2017, Corresponding Fellow, British Academy
- Margot Delon, 2017, Caritas Research Prize (Institut de France / Fondation de recherche Caritas)
- Agnès van Zanten, 2017, Gold Medal, CNRS
- Agnès van Zanten, 2016, Doctor honoris causa, University of Geneve
- Mathieu Ichou, 2015, ECSR Prize for the best PhD thesis
- Lorraine Bozouls, 2015, Vinci Grant (French and Italy University Frame for promoting mobility)
- Aden Gaide, 2015, Louis Gruel 1st Prize, Observatoire national de la vie étudiante for Master 2 thesis. Subject: Les temporalités de la maternité étudiante. Cycle de vie, temps du quotidien.
- Edmond Préteceille, 2015, laureate of the Programme de chaire française with the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro (project: La dynamique des classes moyennes dans l'évolution des structures spatiales des métropoles de Rio de Janeiro et São Paulo)
- Juliette Galonnier, 2015, Presidential Fellowship, Northwestern University
- Juliette Galonnier, 2014, Winch prize, best 2nd year Paper, Northwestern University
- Yoann Demoli, 2014, Best Young Author GERPISA (in Kyoto colloquium)
- Hugues Lagrange, 2013, Prix Seligmann against racism, injustice and intolerance
- Olivier Godechot, 2013, CNRS Bronze Medal (French Webpage)
- Agathe Voisin, 2013, Albert Memmi Prize
- Anne-Sophie Cousteaux, 2012, Prize from Ville de Paris for gender studies
- Laurent Lesnard, 2011, CNRS Bronze Medal (see PDF profile)
- Ugo Palheta, 2011, Prize Louis Cros
- Marie Plessz, 2009, 3st Young Author Prize by Sociologie du travail
- Thibaut de Saint Pol, 2009, Prix de la Ville de Paris, Trémolières Prize
- Mathieu Ichou, 2009, 2nd CNAF Prize