Famous French Anthropologists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite French Anthropologists

 1 
Claude Lévi-Strauss
(Anthropologist)

Claude Lévi-Strauss
4
Birthdate: November 28, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Brussels, Belgium
Died: October 30, 2009

French social anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss is remembered for his contribution to structural anthropology. His book Tristes Tropiques was based on his research deep in the Brazilian Amazon. While he left France for the U.S. during World War II, he later returned to Paris and received his doctorate.

 2 
Bruno Latour
(Philosopher)

Bruno Latour
4
Birthdate: June 22, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Beaune, France

Holberg Prize-winning French sociologist and anthropologist Bruno Latour had initially studied theology and even received his PhD in the subject. His later research Ivory Coast drew him to anthropology, and he soon gained fame as a renowned academic in the field, having co-written iconic books such as Laboratory Life.

 3 
Pierre Bourdieu
(Sociologist)

Pierre Bourdieu
4
Birthdate: August 1, 1930
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Denguin, France
Died: January 23, 2002

Renowned sociologist and intellectual Pierre Bourdieu is best remembered for his theory of habitus. Initially sent to Algeria as part of the French Army, he later taught and conducted ethnographic research there. His best-known work remains La Distinction, and he also inspired a hit French documentary.

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 4 
Marcel Mauss
(Sociologist, Anthropologist)

Marcel Mauss
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1872
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Épinal, Vosges, France
Died: February 10, 1950

Sociologist and anthropologist Marcel Mauss is regarded as the Father of French Ethnology. Shunning his family business, he became influenced by his uncle, sociologist Émile Durkheim. His best-known work remains Essai sur le don, or The Gift. He also influenced Claude Lévi-Strauss, who founded structural anthropology.

 5 
Gustave Le Bon
(Physician, Anthropologist, Archaeologist, Psychologist, Philosopher, Historian, Sociologist)

Gustave Le Bon
3
Birthdate: May 7, 1841
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Nogent-le-Rotrou
Died: December 13, 1931

French social psychologist Gustave Le Bon is best remembered for his research on crowd psychology. In his iconic work La psychologie des foules, or The Crowd, he stated that people are driven by their emotions and not by their intellect when they act as part of a crowd.

 6 
Paul Broca
(Physician)

Paul Broca
3
Birthdate: June 28, 1824
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sainte-Foy-la-Grande, Gironde, France
Died: July 9, 1880

 7 
Prosper Mérimée
(Former writer in the movement of Romanticism, and one of the pioneers of the novella, a short novel or long short story)

Prosper Mérimée
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1803
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 23, 1870

Prosper Mérimée was a French writer and one of the pioneers of narrative prose, which came to be known as a novella. A multi-talented personality, Mérimée was also a historian and archaeologist; he played a key role in the development of the process of architectural preservation. He was responsible for safeguarding several historic sites, such as the Cité de Carcassonne. 

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 8 
Jean Rouch
(Filmmaker, Anthropologist.)

Jean Rouch
3
Birthdate: May 31, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: February 18, 2004

 9 
Loïc Wacquant
(Sociologist)

Loïc Wacquant
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1960
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montpellier, France

Urban sociologist Loïc Wacquant is best known for his work on topics such as the body, ethnography, and racial inequality. A University of California, Berkeley professor, he has also been a MacArthur Prize Fellow and a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows. He also co-founded the journal Ethnography.

 10 
Arnold van Gennep
(Ethnographer)

Arnold van Gennep
3
Birthdate: April 23, 1873
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ludwigsburg, Germany
Died: May 7, 1957

 11 

Lucien Lévy-Bruhl
2
Birthdate: April 10, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 13, 1939

Lucien Lévy-Bruhl was a French scholar best remembered for his contributions to the fields of ethnology and sociology. Although he was trained in philosophy, Lévy-Bruhl helped further anthropology. His work had a major influence on the works of Carl Gustav Jung, especially his psychological theory.

 12 
Jacques Soustelle
(Anthropologist)

Jacques Soustelle
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Montpellier, France
Died: August 6, 1990

 13 
Eliane Karp
(Anthropologist)

Eliane Karp
2
Birthdate: September 24, 1953
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

Born to a Polish father and a Belgian mother in Paris, anthropologist and academic Eliane Karp later studied in Jerusalem, before moving to Stanford. The wife of former president of Peru Alejandro Toledo, she was dragged out of court, while cursing, after Toledo was denied bail in a bribery case.

 14 
Maurice Bloch
(Anthropologist)

Maurice Bloch
0
Birthdate: 1939 AD
Birthplace: Caen, Calvados, France

 15 
Philippe Descola
(Anthropologist)

Philippe Descola
0
Birthdate: June 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: France

 16 
Didier Fassin
(Anthropologist, Sociologist)

Didier Fassin
0
Birthdate: August 30, 1955
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: France

 17 
Yves Coppens
(Anthropologist)

Yves Coppens
1
Birthdate: August 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vannes, France

 18 
Alcide d'Orbigny
(Naturalist)

Alcide d'Orbigny
1
Birthdate: September 6, 1802
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Coueron, France
Died: June 30, 1857

 19 
Marcellin Boule
(Palaeontologist)

Marcellin Boule
1
Birthdate: January 1, 1861
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montsalvy, France
Died: July 4, 1942

 20 
Jean-Jacques Hublin
(Paleoanthropologist)

Jean-Jacques Hublin
0
Birthdate: November 30, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mostaganem, Algeria

Louis Laurent Gabriel de Mortillet
1
Birthdate: August 29, 1821
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meylan, France
Died: September 25, 1898