Social stratification (including gender and race/ethnic stratification) doctoral examination reading list using this list

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Department of Sociology



(revised: June 20, 2005)



Using this list: The basis for this list is the syllabus for Sociology 230 (Social Stratification). It does not include all important papers and books in the area of social stratification. Neither is it necessary for you to read every page listed here. We have tried to outline for you some of the major topics in social stratification, along with some of the central works addressing those topics and commentary and debate about them. You should consider this list, then, as a guide to the field rather than a complete inventory of what you need to know (and beyond which you don’t need to explore). In answering questions on the exam, you may use what you know that isn’t on the list as well as what is on it. To prepare for the doctoral exam, you should think about what the major questions are in the area. Looking at questions from old exams and from Soc. 230, as well as using this list, will help you do this.

Reader (these are a good source for better-known articles and chapters):

Grusky, David B., ed. 2001. Social Stratification: Class, Race, and Gender in Sociological Perspective. Westview Press. (cited below as GRUSKY.)


Ossowski, Stanislaw. 1963. Class Structure in the Social Consciousness. Free Press. (Esp. Chs. l-4.)

Grusky, David B. “The contours of social stratification.” Pp. 3-51 in GRUSKY.

Meyer, John W. 1994. “The Evolution of Modern Stratification Systems.” Pp. 730-37 in GRUSKY.

Sørensen, Aage B. “The basic concepts of stratification research: Class, status, and power.” Pp. 229-40 in GRUSKY.

Kerbo, Harold. 2003. “Dimensions of Inequality in the United States: Gender & Race.” Social Stratification and Inequality: Class Conflict in Historical, Comparative, and Global Perspective, Fifth Edition.


A. Karl Marx (with Friedrich Engels)

In Robert Tucker, ed., 1978. The Marx-Engels Reader, 2nd ed. Norton.

“The Manifesto of the Communist Party” (pp. 469-500).

“The Buying and Selling of Labour-Power” (pp. 336-43).

“The Labour-Process and the Process of Producing Surplus-Value” (pp. 351-61).

“The Working Day: Section l” (pp.361-364).

“Increased Demand for Labour Power” (pp. 419-421).

“The Progressive Production of a Relative Surplus-Population” (pp. 422-28).

“Classes” (pp. 441-42).

(See also readings in GRUSKY.)

B. Modern, Empirical Marxism

Wright, Erik Olin. 1996. Class Counts: Comparative Studies in Class Analysis. Cambridge (esp. Ch. 1). (also, GRUSKY, pp. 112-115, 116-128)

Burawoy, Michael. 1990. “Marxism as Science.” American Sociological Review 55: 775-93. (also, GRUSKY, pp. 94-98, 98-110)


A. Weber, Max.
“Class, Status and Party” (132-141 in GRUSKY).

“Status Groups and Classes.” (142-145 In GRUSKY).

“Open and Closed Relationships” (146-149 in GRUSKY)

“The Rationalization of Education and Training” (150-151 in GRUSKY)

Giddens, Anthony. The Class Structure of Advanced Societies. (152-161 in GRUSKY).
Kingston, Paul W. 2000. The Classless Society, Stanford University Press.
Parkin, Frank. Marxism and Class Theory: A Bourgeois Critique. 162-178.
Mosca, Gaetano. “The ruling class” (pp. 252-271 in LSH; pp. 155-61 in GRUSKY).
Veblen, Thorstein. 1899. Theory of the Leisure Class. (GRUTSKY 491-498).

Pareto, Vilfredo.  [1927] 1971.  Manual of Political Economy.  (Translated by Ann S. Schwier.)  New York: Augustus M. Kelley.  (Chapter VII Paragraphs 11-31 [ pp. 284-293])

Mills, C. Wright. 1952. The Power Elite. Oxford University Press (esp Chpts. 1 and 12; see alsoGRUSKY 202-212)
Dahrendorf, Ralf. 1959. Class and Class Conflict in Industrial Society. Stanford University Press (esp. Preface, Ch. 4, 5, 6).

Robinson, Robert V. and Jonathan Kelley. 1979. “Class as conceived by Marx and Dahrendorf.” American Sociological Review 44:38-58.

Domhoff, William. 1978. The powers that be. Vintage (Preface, Chpts 1 & 3)
Useem, Michael. “The Inner Circle.” (Pp. 223-233 in GRUSKY.)
Archer, Melanie and Judith R. Blau. 1993. “Class formation in 19th century America: The case of the middle class.” Annual Review of Sociology 19:17-41.

Myles, John and Adnan Turegaun. 1994. “Comparative studies in class structure.” Annual Review of Sociology 20:103-24.

Korpi, Walter. 1983. The Democratic Class Struggle. London and Boston: Routledge and K. Paul. Chs. 1-3.

Lenski, Gerhard. “New Light on Old Issues” (in GRUSKY 77-84)


Blumberg, Rae Lesser. 1984. “A general theory of gender stratification.” In Randall Collins, ed., Sociological Theory. Jossey-Bass.

Chafetz, Janet Saltzman. 1984. Sex and Advantage. Rowman and Allanheld.
Lenski, Gerhard. Power and Privilege. 1983(1966). University of North Carolina Press (esp. Chs. 3-4, 10-13, and prefaces).
Lenski, Gerhard, Jean Lenski, and Patrick Nolan.  1991.  Human Societies: An Introduction to Macrosociology.  6e. Chpts. 3-4.

Lenski, Gerhard. 1994. "Societal Taxonomies: Mapping the Social Universe." Annual Review of Sociology 20:1-26.

Lopreato, Joseoph and Crippen, Timothy (1999). Crisis in Sociology: The Need for Darwin. London: Transaction Publishers.
Nielsen, Francois. 2004. “The Ecological-Evolutionary Typology of Human Societies and the Evolution of Social Inequality.” Sociological Theory, 22: 292-315.
Pinker, Stephen. 2002. The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature. New York: Viking.


Durkheim, Emile. The Division of Labor in Society.

Davis, Kingsley and Wilbert E. Moore. 1945. “Some Principles of Stratification.” American Sociological Review 10:242-49. (Also Ch.8 in BLUMBERG; Ch. 8 in LSH; pp. 423-30 in HELLER; pp. 39-46 in GRUSKY.)
Tumin, Melvin. Dysfunctions of Stratification. In GRUSKY.
Lenski, Gerhard. “New light on old issues: The relevance of ‘really existing socialist societies’ for stratification theory.” (Pp. 55-61 in GRUSKY.)


Collins, R., Chafetz, J., Blumberg, R., Coltrane, S., and Turner, J. 1993. “Toward an Integrated Theory of Gender Stratification.” Sociological Perspectives 36:185-216.

Bielby, Denise, and William Bielby. 1988. “She Works Hard for the Money: Household Responsibilities and the Allocation of Work Effort.” American Journal of Sociology 93:1031–1059.
Budig, Michelle J. and England, Paula (2001).  “The Wage Penalty for Motherhood.” American Sociological Review, 66:204-225. 
England, Paula, George Farkas, Barbara Kilbourne, and Thomas Dou. 1988. "Explaining Occupational Sex Segregation and Wages: Findings from a Model with Fixed Effects." American Sociological Review 53, 4: 544-558.
Goldin, Claudia. 1992. Understanding the Gender Gap: An Economic History of American Women. New York: Oxford University Press.
Reskin, Barbara (1993). “Sex Segregation in the Workplace.” Annual Review of Sociology 19:241-70.
Udry, Richard. 2000. “The Biological Limits of Gender,” American Sociological Review, 65: 443-457.

Alba, Richard and Victor Nee. Remaking the American Mainstream: Assimilation and Contempory Immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. 2001. White supremacy and racism in the post-civil rights era. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers
Bowen, William and Derek Bok. 1998. The Shape of the River: Long Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Conley, Dalton (1999). Being Black, Living in the Red. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1995. The Souls of Black Folk. New York: Signet Classics. (Through chapter 10).
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1998. The Philadelphia Negro. (with introduction by Elijah Anderson). Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. .
Duneier, Mitchell. 2000. Sidewalk. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.
Harris, David R. 1999. “Property Values Drop When Blacks Move In, Because…’: Racial and Socioeconomic Determinants of Neighborhood Desirability.” American Sociological Review, 64: 461-479.
Lieberson, Stanley (1980). A Piece of the Pie: Black and White Immigrants Since 1880. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
MacLeod, Jay. 1995. Ain’t No Makin’ It: Aspirations and Attainment in a Low Income

Neighborhood. Westview Press.
Massey, Doug and Denton, Nancy. 1994. American Apartheid: Segregation and the Making of the Underclass. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Mouw, Ted. 2000.  “Job Relocation and the Racial Gap in Unemployment in Detroit and Chicago, 1980-1990” American Sociological Review.  65(5):730-753.
Moynihan, Daniel Patrick. 1965. The Negro Family: The Case for National Action.
Myrdal, Gunnar. 1944. An American Dilemma: The Negro Problem and American Democracy. New York: Harper and Brothers (3rd edition 1996. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction).
Oliver, Melvin L. and Thomas M. Shapiro. 1995. Black Wealth/White Wealth. New York: Routledge
Pager, Devah (2003). “The Mark of a Criminal Record.” American Journal of Sociology. 108: 937-975.
Pettit, Becky and Bruce Western. 2004. “Mass Imprisonment and the Life Course: Race and Class Inequality in U.S. Incarceration.” American Sociological Review 69:151-69.
Sowell, Thomas. 1981. Ethnic America: A history. New York: Basic Books
Uggen, Christopher and Manza, Jeff (2002). “Democratic Contraction? Political Consequences of Felon Disenfranchisement in the United States.” American Sociological Review, 67: 777–803.
Waldinger, Roger. 1996. Still The Promised City ?: African-Americans and New Immigrants in Postindustrial New York. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Wilson, William Julius. 1978. The Declining Significance of Race. Chicago: University of Chicago.


A. Mobility and Attainment

Blau, Peter and Otis Dudley Duncan. 1967. The American Occupational Structure. Wiley. (Esp. Chs. 1, 2, 5, 12, pp. 117-18.)

Treiman, Donald J.  "Occupational Prestige in Comparative Perspective."  Pp. 260-263 in GRUSKY.
Goldthorpe, John H. and Keith Hope.  "Occupational Grading and Occupational Prestige."  Pp. 264-271 in GRUSKY.
Jenks, Christopher, Marshall Smith, Henry Acland, Mary Jo Bane, David Cohen, Herbert Gintis, Barbara Heyns, and Stephan Michelson.  "Inequality: A Reassessment of the Effect of Family and Schooling in America."  Pp. 403-409 in GRUSKY.
Granovetter, Mark (2005). “The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes.” Journal of Economic Perspectives. 19:33-50.
Granovetter. Mark (1984). "Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness,”.American Journal of Sociology, 91: 481-510.
Lin, Nan. 1999. “Social networks and status attainment.” Annual Review of Sociology 25:467-88.
Ted Mouw. 2002. "Are Black Workers Missing the Connection? The Effect of Spatial Distance and Employee Referrals on Interfirm Racial Segregation." Demography 39(3):507-528.
Sørensen, Aage. 2000. Toward a Sounder Basis for Class Analysis. American Journal of

Warren, John Robert and Robert M. Hauser. 1997. “Social stratification across three generations.” American Sociological Review 62:561-72.
B. Comments on Status Attainment and Mobility Research

Horan, Patrick M. 1978. “Is status attainment research atheoretical?” American Sociological Review 43:534-41.

Myles, John and Aage B. Sørensen. 1975. “Elite and status attainment models.” Canadian Journal of Sociology l:75-88.

(See also Hauser, Robert M. and David B. Grusky. 1988. “Cross-national variation in occupational distributions...” and following debate. American Sociological Review 53:723-52.

Or Grusky, David B. and Robert M. Hauser. “Comparative social mobility revisited: models of convergence and divergence in 16 countries.” (Pp. 275-89 in GRUSKY.))

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1994. “Distinction: A social critique of the judgement of taste.” pp. 404-29 in GRUSKY.

  1. Role of “Intelligence” & Genetics in Attainment

Brody, Nathan.  1992. Intelligence.  (2d edition.)  New York: Academic Press.

LUCAS, SAMUEL, SWIDLER, ANN, and VOSS, KIM (1996). Inequality by Design: Cracking the Bell Curve Myth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Herrnstein, Richard, and Charles Murray. 1994. The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life. Free Press. (Esp. Parts I and II. Note ch. summaries.)
Heckman, James. 1995. “Lessons from “The Bell Curve.” “ Journal of Political Economy 5:426-46.

Neisser, Ulric, Gwyneth Boodoo, Thomas J. Bouchard, A. Wade Boykin, Nathan Brody, Stephen J. Ceci, Diane F. Halpern, John C. Loehlin, Robert Perloff, Robert J. Sternberg & Susana Urbina.  1996.  "Intelligence: Knowns and Unknowns."  American Psychologist 51:77-101. web version from APA:
Nielsen, François. 1995. Review of The Bell Curve. Social Forces 74:337-42.
Scarr, Sandra and Richard A. Weinberg. 1978. “The influence of ‘family background’ on intellectual attainment.” American Sociological Review 43:674-92.

A. Theories & Labor Market Segmentation
Abbott, Andy (1988). The System of Professions. Pp. 115-176. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Bonacich, Edna. 1972. “A theory of ethnic antagonism: The split labor market.” American Sociological Review . 37:547-59. (Also GRUSKY, pp. 474-86.)
Edwards, Richard. 1979. Contested Terrain. Basic. (Especially Chs. 9-11.)
Kalleberg, Arne and Aage B. Sørensen. 1979. “The sociology of labor markets.” Annual Review of Sociology 5:351-79.
Tilly, Charles and Tilly Charles (1997). Work Under Capitalism. New York: Westview Press.
B. Comments on the Labor Market and Sector Literature
Aldrich, Howard and Roger Waldinger (1990). “Ethnicity and Entrepreneurship.” Annual Review of Sociology 16: 111-135.
Applebaum, Eileen, Bailey, Thomas, Berg, Peter, and Kalleberg, Arne L (2002). Shared Work. Valued Care: New Norms for Organizing Market Work and Unpaid Care Work. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute
Darity, William A., Jr. and Myers, Samuel L., Jr. (1998). Persistent Disparity: Race and Economic Inequality in the United States Since 1945. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar.
Kalleberg, Arne, Reskin, Barbara, and Hudson, Ken (2000). "Bad Jobs in America:

Standard and Non-standard Employment Relations and Job Quality in the United

States." American Sociological Review. 65: 256-278.
Nielsen, François and Arthur Alderson. 1997. “The Kuznets Curve and the Great U-Turn: Income inequality in US counties, 1970 to 1990.” American Sociological Review 62:12-33.
C. Work and Poverty
Blank, Rebecca and Haskins, Ron (2001). The New World of Welfare, Blank, Rebecca and Haskins, Ron, eds.. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institute Press. Chapters 1-4.
Carrington, William and Fallack, Bruce (2001). “Do Some Workers Have Minimum Wage Careers?” Monthly Labor Review, May 2001, 17-27.
Freeman, Richard B. (2001). “The Rising Tide Lifts….” in Understanding Poverty, Danziger, Sheldon and Haveman, Robert, eds. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Iceland, John (2003). Poverty In America: A Handbook. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press
Lamont, Michelle. 2000. The Dignity of Working Men: Morality and the Boundaries of Race, Class, and Immigration. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Murray, Charles. 1984. Losing Ground: American Social Policy 1950-1980. Basic.
Wilson, William Julius. 1987. The Truly Disadvantaged. Chicago: University of Chicago.
Wilson, William J. (1996). When Work Disappears. NY: Vintage Books.


Wright, Erik Olin. 1980. “Class and Occupation” Theory and Society, 9:1,Special Issue on Work and the Working Class. pp. 177-214.

Baron, James, Alison Davis-Blake, and William T. Bielby. 1986. “The Structure of Opportunity: How Promotion Ladders Vary Within and Among Organizations.”Administrative Science Quarterly, 31: 248-273.
Aldrich and Waldinger 1990. “Ethnicity and Entreprenuership.” Annual Review of Sociology, 16: 111-135
Rachel A. Rosenfeld. 1980. Race and Sex Differences in Career Dynamics.

American Sociological Review, 45: 583-609.

Stewart Clegg. “Organization and Control.” Administrative Science Quarterly, 26: 545-562.

Smith, Vicki. 1997. “New forms of work organization.” Annual Review of Sociology 23: 315-39.


Chirot, Daniel and Thomas Hall. 1982. “World-system theory.” Annual Review of Sociology 8:81-106.

Wallerstein, Immanuel. 1972. “Three paths of national development in sixteenth century Europe.” Studies in Comparative International Development 7:95-101.
Chase-Dunn, Christopher and Peter Grimes. 1995. “World-systems analysis.” Annual Review of Sociology 21:387-417.

Firebaugh, Glenn. 1992. “Growth effect of foreign and domestic investment.” American Journal of Sociology 98:105-30.

Lenski, Gerhard and Patrick D. Nolan. 1984. “Trajectories of development: A test of ecological-evolutionary theory.” Social Forces 63:1-23.

Bollen, Kenneth A. and Robert W. Jackman. 1985. “Political democracy and the size distribution of income.” American Sociological Review 50:438-57.

(See also exchanges between Muller and Bollen/Jackman in Dec. 1995, American Sociological Review.)

Ward, Kathryn and Jean Pyle. 1995. “Gender, industrialization, and development.” In Christine Bose and Edna Acosta-Belen (eds.), Women in the Latin American Development Process. Philadelphia: Temple.

Kuznets, Simon. [1955] 1965. “Economic growth and income inequality.” Pp. 257-87 in Economic Growth and Structure. Norton. (Originally published in 1955 in American Economic Review 45:1-28.)

Morris, Martina and Bruce Western. 1999. “Inequality in earnings at the close of the 20th century.” Annual Review of Sociology 25:623-57.

Alderson, Arthur S. and François Nielsen.  2002.  "Globalization and the Great U-Turn: Income Inequality Trends in 16 OECD Countries." American Journal of Sociology 107: 1244-1299.
Alderson, Arthur and François Nielsen. 1999. “Income inequality, development, and dependence.” American Sociological Review64:606-31.
Firebaugh, Glenn. 2003. The New Geography of Global Income Inequality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Esping-Andersen, Gosta.  "Social Foundations of Postindustrial Economies."  Pp. 830-845 in GRUSKY

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