Indiana University Indiana University IU

Event: Talk by Vincent Lorant

"Social network research and the sociology of inequalities"

Wednesday, May 31st 2023 at 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
In person, RSVP required, Karl F. Schuessler Institute for Social Research


In his seminal work, Durable Inequality (1998), Charles Tilly argued that sociology should shift its focus from “inequality in contract to inequality in contact”. As a result, the sociology of inequalities has increasingly adopted a social network lens over the past decade. This talk will illustrate how social network research provides a valuable framework for studying inequalities, including their cultural components. Through several case studies, including policy networks, organizational networks of mental health care, and the social support for patients with severe mental disorders, we will explore key concepts such as homophily, topology, diffusion centrality, and belief coalitions.

Furthermore, social network research has also led to different interventions, and this talk will illustrate this with two examples. The EGONET study will show how ego-network approaches can be used to engage healthcare professionals and social workers in strengthening patients’ social support networks in routine clinical practices. Additionally, with the SILNER study, we will demonstrate how health policies can impact the diffusion of risky health behaviors in schools and weaken social contagion.

Coffee and pastries will be served. Please RSVP for the talk at the Irsay Institute website.


The speaker, Vincent Lorant, is a political scientist and sociologist with a PhD in Public Health from UCLouvain where he is a full professor of medical sociology and health policies. He leads the Mental Health Services Research group and was a Principal Investigator in the Federal evaluation of the Reform of Mental Health care in Belgium. He has also been involved into several FP7 or Horizon 2020 EU projects, including serving as the coordinator of the EU Horizon2020 SILNE social network study in Europe. Currently, he is a visiting professor at IRSAY. For more about Vincent’s work, please visit