Ann Swidler is Professor of Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. She has done influential work on culture, religion, and American society, including the now-classic article, Culture in Action, Organization Without Authority, and Talk of Love, as well as the co-authored Habits of the Heart, The Good Society, and Inequality by Design. Her recent publications include the book (with Susan Cotts Watkins) A Fraught Embrace: The Romance and Reality of AIDS Altruism in Africa (2017, Princeton University Press).
Her interest in culture and institutions led to the study of how societies in sub-Saharan Africa responded to the AIDS pandemic. Recent work analyzes global and local responses to the AIDS epidemic in Africa, looking at how the massive international AIDS effort interacts with existing African cultural and institutional patterns. Currently, she is examining how cultural models and institutional logics intersect in chieftaincies, NGOs, and religious congregations in Africa.
Among other honors, Swidler has been a Guggenheim Fellow, French-American Foundation Professor of American Civilization, Fellow of the Successful Societies Program of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.