Alain Ehrenberg directed the CESAMES research center (Center de recherche Psychotropes, Santé mental, Société), of which he was the founder, at the Paris-Descartes University in Paris. He dealt with the relationship between the representation of mental illness and contemporary society, investigating the individual hardships connected to modern society, in relation to the need for performance and today's injunction of autonomy. Among his volumes published in Italian: La fatica di essere se stessi. Depressione e società (Torino 2010); La società del disagio. Il mentale e il sociale (Torino 2011); La meccanica delle passioni. Cervello, comportamento, società (Torino 2019).