Kenneth I. Spenner

Kenneth I. Spenner

Professor Emeritus of Sociology

External address: 
268I Soc-Psych, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90088, Durham, NC 27708-0088
(919) 660-5625


My current research involves a multi-year panel study of racial and ethnic differences in academic performance. A substantial body of research documents a gap in performance among different groups, yet the reasons why are only partly clear. Our research design follows two cohorts of Duke University undergraduates, the incoming classes of 2001 and 2002, surveyed before coming to Duke and approximately, annualy thereafter until exit from Duke. Empirical comparisons examine differential in human, cultural and social capital, negative stereotyping and identity dynamics, social networks, and residential, social and academic climates as these evolve during the undergraduate years.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Wisconsin at Madison 1977

Spenner, K. I., C. Buchmann, and L. R. Landerman. “THE BLACK-WHITE ACHIEVEMENT GAP IN THE FIRST COLLEGE YEAR: EVIDENCE FROM A NEW LONGITUDINAL CASE STUDY.” Research in Social Stratification and Mobility 22 (December 1, 2004): 187–216. Full Text

Spenner, Kenneth I., and Jacques Coenen-Huther. “Bulgaria at the Crossroads.” Contemporary Sociology 27, no. 5 (September 1998): 514–514. Full Text

Spenner, K. I., and D. C. Jones. “Social economic transformation in Bulgaria: An empirical assessment of the merchant capitalism thesis.” Social Forces 76, no. 3 (January 1, 1998): 937–65. Full Text

Spenner, K. I., S. A. Thore, K. C. Land, O. O. Suhomlinova, and D. C. Jones. “Strong legacies and weak markets: Bulgarian state-owned enterprises during early transition.” American Sociological Review 63, no. 4 (January 1, 1998): 599–617. Full Text

Rosenfeld, R. A., and K. I. Spenner. “Occupational Sex Segregation and Women's Early Career Job Shifts.” Work and Occupations 19, no. 4 (January 1, 1992): 424–49. Full Text

Spenner, K. I., and K. Petkov. “The effects of technology on the quality and quantity of work: similarities between East and West..” Journal of Managerial Issues 4 (1992): 533–53.