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

Petkov, K., and K. I. Spenner. “The social organization and consequences of technological change: similarities between East and West..” Journal of Sociological Problems, 1991, 3–16.

Spenner, K. I., A. C. Kerckhoff, and T. A. Glass. “Open and closed education and work systems in Great Britain.” European Sociological Review 6, no. 3 (December 1, 1990): 215–36.

SPENNER, K. E. N. N. E. T. H. I. “Skill.” Work and Occupations 17, no. 4 (November 1990): 399–421. Full Text

Spenner, K. I. “New Forms of Work Organization in Europe by P. Grootings, B. Gustavsen, and L. Hethy.” Contemporary Sociology, July 1990.

Spenner, K. I., and R. Rosenfeld. “Women, work and identities: an event history analysis..” Social Science Research 19 (1990): 266–99.

Spenner, K. I. “Perestroika Gorbachev’s Russia: Dramatic Times..” Window, 1989, 4–11.

Spenner, K. I. “Personality, work, and social stratification..” Edited by W Richard Scott. Annual Review of Sociology 14 (1988): 69–97.

Spenner, K. I. “Occupations, work settings and the course of adult development: tracing the implications of select historical changes..” Edited by P. Baltes, D. Featherman, and R. Lerner. Life Span Development and Behavior 9 (1988): 243–85.

Spenner, K. I. “Review of Beyond Mechanization by L. Hirschhorn.” Work and Occupations, November 1987.