A few necessary disclaimers that did not seem to fit within the body of the text.
1) This book is not a comprehensive study of its French research site. If it were, no one would want to read it. Still, it does leave a lot out. I’m sorry about that.
2) I am not a native speaker of the French language and was never deeply integrated into Parisian culture. Many local (and translocal) cultural dynamics remained beyond my understanding, and the book is merely about those things that I do understand. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from French sources are my own.
3) I have imagined my readers as having some academic background, and having a passing acquaintance with modern philosophy as a field.
4) The site is changing and this book focuses only on one moment in time.
5) I talked to teachers considerably more than I talked to students.
6) I talked to French nationals more than to the large population of international students. In hindsight, I regret that methodological choice, but it cannot be changed now.
7) This book probably will not teach much, if anything, to the insiders.
8) I focused on interactions more than on social actors, on utterances more than on discourses, on events more than structures. Thus, this is not a series of biographies; it is not a structural sociology; it is not a history of ideas; it is not a genealogy. It is an ethnography.
9) My academic training was in ethnography of higher education. I would have framed the argument very differently if I had come to it through feminist studies or postcolonial studies.
10) Research, like life, is not a neutral activity. At times, I had to pick sides.