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. “Jobs across generations.” Career Education Quarterly 4 (1979): 34–38.

Spenner, K. I., and D. L. Featherman. “Achievement Ambitions.” Annual Review of Sociology 4, no. 1 (August 1978): 373–420. Full Text

Haller, A., and K. I. Spenner. “Occupational income differentiation in status attainment.” Rural Sociology 42 (1977): 517–35.

Spenner, K. I. “Reply to Form.” American Sociological Review 41 (1976): 160–65.

Spenner, Kenneth I. “"The Internal Stratification of the Working Class": A Reanalysis.” American Sociological Review 40, no. 4 (August 1975): 513–513. Full Text

Fink, Edward L., Lucy D. Rey, Katrina W. Johnson, Kenneth I. Spenner, Donald R. Morton, and Estevan T. Flores. “The effects of family occupational type, sex, and appeal style on helping behavior.” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology 11, no. 1 (January 1975): 43–52. Full Text